McCaul questions Mayorkas, White House decision to rescind effective immigration policies

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10), Chairman Emeritus of the House Homeland Committee, questioned Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary on the Biden Administration's decision to rescind effective policies, like the migrant protection protocol and asylum cooperative agreements with Central America, implemented by the Trump Administration. 

"The Trump administration, in my judgment, did a masterful job in negotiating the Remain in Mexico policy and the asylum cooperative agreements with Central America. It was a foreign policy achievement and it worked, said McCaul. "With the stroke of a pen, the Biden Administration has completely torn apart these very effective and successful agreements. Today I asked Secretary Mayorkas to reconsider policies like the Migrant Protection Protocol and address this humanitarian crisis at our southern border." 

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McCaul's full remarks

You and I have seen this movie before. In 2014, when I was chairman of this committee and you were deputy secretary of DHS, Obama called the surge of migrants at the southern border a humanitarian crisis and he was right. Today we're seeing another surge at our southern border. We've both seen this movie before and we know the plot and we know the outcome. As chief of counterterrorism and national security for the U.S. attorney in Texas, I learned that deterrence does work firsthand. In fact, Mr. Secretary, you were a federal prosecutor in a border state yourself. And I believe that words do matter. I know you mentioned maybe the language doesn't matter, I think words do matter. I think you sent exactly the wrong message when you stated, quote: “We are not saying don't come, we're just saying don't come now.” That is not a message of deterrence. The Trump administration, in my judgment, did a masterful job in negotiating the remain in Mexico policy and the asylum cooperative agreements with Central America. It was a foreign policy achievement, actually. And it worked, migrants had to wait in Mexico for their asylum trial and the border was under control. However, with the stroke of a pen by President Biden these policies have been reversed and cancelled. Cartels and traffickers see the green light is on at our southern border and the United States is open for business again. Again, the message is come on in. Just like that, catch and release has returned as a policy of this nation, and so, Mr. Secretary, has the threat. Migrants are given a date to appear in court and suddenly disappear. The children are the victims and the cartels are celebrating this victory. Sir, with all due respect, this administration has created this crisis by rescinding these agreements. And just yesterday you said, quote: “We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.” That is staggering. I appreciate your honesty. I agree with you. It is going to be the most we've seen in 20 years. You may call that only a challenge, but I call that a crisis. So I must ask this question. Why in the world did this administration, President Biden, basically shred the Trump administration's asylum agreements with Mexico and Central America. This has had a direct cause and effect on the humanitarian and border crisis. What was this administration and the president thinking?

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