Patterico's Pontifications


Mayorkas: Build the Wall!

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:48 pm

[guest post by JVW]

It’s getting to be such that down is up and up is down. Per National Review Online:

Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas waived 26 federal laws Wednesday, allowing border-wall construction in south Texas to resume under the Biden administration for the first time since former president Donald Trump left office.

“There is presently an acute and immediate need to construct physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States in the project areas,” Mayorkas wrote in the notice.

The new construction project will add an additional 20 miles to the border wall in Starr County, Texas, which has been reported as an area experiencing “high illegal entry.” Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector, in which the county is located, has seen over 245,000 illegal migrants enter the U.S. through that area during fiscal year 2023.

Among the 26 laws that the DHS waived included the Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Endangered Species Act, all notable environmental laws that limited further construction of the wall. The project will be funded by a congressional appropriations package from fiscal year 2019, the notice stated.

Wait, an appropriations package from 2019? My God, Donald Trump did get the wall built after all!

Future historians are going to marvel when looking back on illegal immigration policy in this country for the past 50 years. Democrats have been happy to fight tooth and nail against any attempts to prevent waves of immigrants crossing the border when it was swelling their future constituencies, but once the effects of lax southern border policies started appearing on the streets of New York, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, and other progressive Eastern redoubts, why suddenly it became an unmanageable problem that at long last needed to be addressed. The bus caravans sponsored by Texas Governor Greg Abbott were perhaps exploitative in many ways, but they appear now to be one of the most effective political gambits in recent memory, at least in terms of getting results that mere weeks earlier seemed highly implausible.

Do not forget that Joe Biden declared an end to the Trump Administration’s border emergency when he became President in early 2021, telling the nation that “Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border is not a serious policy solution.” During the 2020 campaign he had promised that “[t]here will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration.” So it goes for the biggest blowhard to ever occupy the Oval Office (and yes, that includes his predecessor).

Imagine if the GOP wasn’t busy pissing all over itself. Why, the Democrats’ border cynicism might even be covered by CNN (as of this moment, no coverage of the Mayorkas announcement) or the New York Times (brief article about the border situation here but no mention of the new barrier construction). To its credit, the Washington Post did see fit to cover this important development, even though it makes the Democrats look as craven and opportunistic as we always knew them to be. The WaPo must really want Biden out and somebody else topping the ticket next year.

Joe Biden is running out of things to lie to us about.


27 Responses to “Mayorkas: Build the Wall!”

  1. I’m waiting for NYC to pass a civic ordinance to say that the children of illegal immigrants are to be denied public accommodations, including schooling for their kids. Might as well have the Democrats do an entire 180 on this core principle.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  2. The most-liked comment so far on the NRO article:

    Wow. Garland switches from going after pro-life grandmas to Chineese fentanyl suppliers and Mayorkas reverses course and brings back Trump’s wall. It’s almost like there’s an election coming up and the Democrats have suddenly realized that the public preferred Trump’s policies.

    That just about sums up my level of cynicism too. Next thing you know, Gavin Newsom will veto bills favorable to the trans lobby and to organized labor. Election years bring such funny things from the ruling party.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  3. We’ll probably find that Mexico is paying for the wall, too.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  4. The optics could have been worse. The idea of a “remain in Texas” rule might have had the INS securing Texas’ border with adjoining states.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  5. Biden being a corporate establishment stooge will do the minimum he can get away with on fentanyl to keep establishment democrat moderates from getting voted out if abortion isn’t enough for suburban women and still keep the left from jumping ship. The DNC and biden rightly fear a primary challenge from the left so mostly lip service on the border. RFK is no threat AOC is. Keep the squad on board! The states he needs Az, Ga, Mi, Pa. and Wi. wouldn’t take much to make up that 43,000 votes he won the electoral collage by in 2020. Newson/AOC 2024 will work. Biden/harris 2024 not so much!

    asset (c6b5c7)

  6. That’s… a hell of a reversal.

    The border situation must have gotten so bad, they’re terrified of the political consequences.

    I can’t help to think that Gov. Abbot’s and Gov. DeSantis’ “bussing illegals to liberal conclaves” that forced a NIMBY’ism reaction from the left now.

    It goes to show, that we must ensure that the inane policies the left advocates, must live with the consequences whenever possible.

    whembly (5f7596)

  7. Biden is hoping to trade wall funding for passage of aid to Ukraine. MAGA won’t take it. They’ll demand changes to asylum and immigration law.

    The wall is useless anyway, and couldn’t possibly make any difference for years. Interestingly, MAGA is not now interested in building more jails for migrants.

    Sammy Finkelman (7661fb)

  8. The wall is useless anyway, and couldn’t possibly make any difference for years.

    That’s my problem with it too, Sammy. Building a wall is all about grandstanding and pretending to solve a problem that is far more entrenched and complicated than simply preventing people from making illegal border crossings. But it is a physical object which can be photographed and disseminated to voters as a sign that our government takes this stuff seriously, even when it emphatically does not.

    And, to be fair, the Mayorkas directive strikes me as likely being a temporary series of roadblocks at one particular location rather than a permanent barrier. But I still think this exposes a tremendous degree of hypocrisy in the Biden Administration’s treatment of illegal immigration and open borders.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  9. It’s good politics and good government.

    I don’t know about “trade wall funding for passage of aid to Ukraine”. I want both.

    And it will take the “we’re funding the Ukraine border but not ours” wind out pf the neo-Soviets’ sails.

    nk (6581b9)

  10. The wall construction has a lot of media coverage today.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. The idea of a “remain in Texas” rule might have had the INS securing Texas’ border with adjoining states.

    Kevin M (ed969f) — 10/4/2023 @ 10:06 pm

    I’m sorry, but you got into my wheelhouse. I suspect many on here could use an agency update.

    INS ceased to exist 20 years ago. After 9/11, and with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), INS, which had been under the Department of Justice, was abolished, and three new agencies, all under the umbrella of DHS, were created. Those three agencies are Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    ICE is the law enforcement arm that handles immigration issues in the interior of the country. CBP handles the border, including ports of entry (land, sea, and air). USCIS is in charge of giving out benefits like work permits, asylum, visa renewals, green cards, and citizenship.

    Don’t worry, Kevin. You are one of many who get agency confusion. Recently, I was watching the TV show Dark Winds, which is enjoyable just on scenery alone. The show is set in 1971. In one episode, a tribal police officer opened a letter from CBP that offered her a job with the Border Patrol. CBP didn’t exist in 1971. 😁

    norcal (cccc9b)

  12. JVW (1ad43e) — 10/5/2023 @ 10:34 am

    Building a wall is all about grandstanding and pretending to solve a problem that is far more entrenched and complicated than simply preventing people from making illegal border crossings

    It’s actually somewhat of a recognition of reality (probably because it may come from border guards union) since preventing people from making illegal border crossings is the only way to keep people out. Under international agreements, non-Mexicans cannot simply be pushed back across the border, and then there’s the right of asylum.

    There are lots of lies told. This gets mixed up with the smuggling of fentanyl (smuggled by U.S> citizens or approved non-U.S. truck drivers at legal ports of entry) and the claim that Democrats want illegal immigrants to come because they want their votes. This gets back into the fantasy of in-person voter fraud when it’s much easier to do with absentee ballots.

    Sammy FInkelman (c5132f)

  13. The New York Daily News had an editorial Tuesday about all this close the border claims statements, which the Republicans have gotten some Democrats to join. (mostly probably because the Democrats don’t want to face up to the fact that there is probably some corruption in the handing out of contracts)

    In the newspaper the editorial was entitled “Clear as Mud”

    Are they calling for a ramp-up of the so-called prevention through deterrence strategy, which since the 1990s has attempted (and failed) to discourage arrivals by making the border more dangerous to cross, resulting in potentially thousands of excess deaths?

    Note: I think it did discourage people. The death penalty is always a deterrent. It just did not reduce it low enough to satisfy the restrictionists.

    Are they of the opinion that fewer people should qualify for asylum — that the United States should, in effect, step back from the humanitarian responsibilities that the newly-formed United Nations negotiated and instituted in direct response to the horrors of the Holocaust and the devastation of the Nazi’s military campaigns?

    Is it a call for desperate people to be sent to claim asylum in Guatemala — a nation besieged by the same cartel violence and political instability that drove many people to flee other countries in the first place — as they were under the Trump administration? Is it a request that the Biden administration begin sending asylum applicants to wait again in squalid camps in northern Mexico, as they were under the now-defunct Remain in Mexico policy, during which many were kidnapped, robbed, raped and murdered?

    Something else? What, exactly, is the suggestion here? Whatever it is, one thing is for sure: it will make Trump-era anti-immigrant architect Stephen Miller, one of the most callous characters to emerge from that administration’s cauldron, smile. The fringe policies he designed, the abhorrent approach he pioneered, will have at long last reached mainstream acceptance, breaking the last of the unified pro-immigrant approach that hardened in response to a sadism most famously represented by the family separation policy.

    So, too, will Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have cause for celebration, with his ever-more successful gambit to shift the city’s politics in his direction, begun last year with the start of his campaign of busing migrants to NYC. Before they continue too far down this track, our leaders should reckon with and clarify what exactly it is they’re asking for here. Perhaps they’ll find it to be a position they can’t defend.

    Wen you explain what it is exactly that is being proposed, it cant be defended.

    There’s an error here which escaped proofreading but I corrected: In the printed newspaper as well as online the word “here” is mistakenly spelled “her,” A spellchecker wouldn’t catch that.

    Sammy FInkelman (c5132f)

  14. The editorial earlier said:

    This Sunday seems to have brought a rhetorical tone shift in the migrant situation, with Mayor Adams’ chief adviser, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, saying in an interview with WPIX-11 that the federal government and Congress had to do “its job, close the borders.” The same day, Gov. Hochul, on CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” said that she wanted Congress “to have a limit on who can come across the border,” lamenting that “people coming from all over the world are finding their way through, simply saying they need asylum.”

    This is, of course, the way that the asylum system was quite intentionally intended and designed to operate, erring on the side of not sending people back to their potential deaths or persecution while giving them a chance to plead their case. The statements from the top aide to NYC’s Democratic mayor and the state’s Democratic governor, stripped of context, could have just as easily been uttered by Donald Trump himself…

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f)

  15. The only way to reform it is to allow other ways to migrate.

    Or undercharge the cartels.

    Every step through the jungle, there is money to be made.

    The boat ride to reach the rainforest: $40. A guide on the treacherous route once you start walking: $170. A porter to carry your backpack over the muddy mountains: $100. A plate of chicken and rice after arduous climbing: $10. Special, all-inclusive packages to make the perilous slog faster and more bearable, with tents, boots and other necessities: $500, or more.

    Hundreds of thousands of migrants are now pouring through a sliver of jungle known as the Darién Gap, the only land route to the United States from South America, in a record tide that the Biden administration and the Colombian government have vowed to stop.

    But the windfall here at the edge of the continent is simply too big to pass up, and the entrepreneurs behind the migrant gold rush are not underground smugglers hiding from the authorities.

    They are politicians, prominent businessmen and elected leaders, now sending thousands of migrants toward the United States in plain sight each day — and charging millions of dollars a month for the privilege.

    At least they are mostly avoiding getting people killed, like on the way from Africa to Europe. This is probably thanks to Facebook.


    “We have organized everything: the boatmen, the guides, the bag carriers,” said Darwin García, an elected community board member and former town councilman in Acandí, a Colombian municipality at the entrance to the jungle.

    The crush of migrants willing to risk everything to make it to the United States is “the best thing that could have happened” to a poor town like his, he said.

    Now, Mr. García’s younger brother, Luis Fernando Martínez, the head of a local tourism association, is a leading candidate for mayor of Acandí — defending the migration business as the only profitable industry in a place that “didn’t have a defined economy before.”

    The Darién Gap has quickly morphed into one the Western Hemisphere’s most pressing political and humanitarian crises. A trickle only a few years ago has become a flood: More than 360,000 people have already crossed the jungle in 2023, according to the Panamanian government, surpassing last year’s almost unthinkable record of nearly 250,000.

    In response, the United States, Colombia and Panama signed an agreement in April to “end the illicit movement of people” through the Darién Gap, a practice that “leads to death and exploitation of vulnerable people for significant profit.”

    Today, that profit is greater than ever, with local leaders collecting tens of millions of dollars this year alone from migrants in an enormous people-moving operation — one that international experts say is more sophisticated than anything they have seen.

    “This is a beautiful economy,” said Fredy Marín, a former town councilman in the neighboring municipality of Necoclí who manages a boat company that ferries migrants on their way to the United States. He says he transports thousands of people a month, charging them $40 a head.

    Mr. Marín is now running for mayor of Necoclí, vowing to preserve the thriving migration industry.

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f)

  16. Sammy, we can’t just let in everyone around the world who wants to live in the U.S. Are you prepared to see a U.S. population five to ten times larger than it already is? I’m not.

    norcal (cccc9b)

  17. JVW (1ad43e) — 10/5/2023 @ 10:34 am

    And, to be fair, the Mayorkas directive strikes me as likely being a temporary series of roadblocks at one particular location rather than a permanent barrier.

    What he did was waive various rules, that prohibited construction.

    But I still think this exposes a tremendous degree of hypocrisy in the Biden Administration’s treatment of illegal immigration and open borders.

    That’s been there since the beginning.

    Now look at this:

    “The money was appropriated for the border wall. I tried to get them to reappropriate, to redirect that money. They didn’t. They wouldn’t,” he said. “In the meantime, there’s nothing under the law other than they have to use the money for what it was appropriated for. I can’t stop that.”

    That only makes sense if he thinks it is better to waste money than not ro spend it at all.

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f)

  18. I think immigration could easily be held to less than 15 million persons a year if that’s what you wanted to do.

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f)

  19. I think immigration could easily be held to less than 15 million persons a year if that’s what you wanted to do.

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f) — 10/5/2023 @ 1:50 pm

    I think that’s too many, but even with your number there will be enforcement required, which means deportation from the interior and turning people around at the border. I’ve never seen you make a pro-enforcement statement.

    norcal (4217ad)

  20. No. the higher the number the less the enforcement, and there’s no reason to be strict and insist on absolute power. The important point is not to make the trip dangerous.

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f)

  21. Don’t worry, Kevin. You are one of many who get agency confusion.

    A severe case of NGAF.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  22. I was watching the TV show Dark Winds

    Great show, especially for me now living in New Mexico.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  23. My perfect plan for solving the problem:

    Conquer everything down through Panama. Then the southern border is easily defended. Some social restructuring needed, of course, but that’s a detail.

    Kevin M (ed969f)

  24. What you call the left (thats me) is actually corporate establishment liberal office holders who fear (hate) the left as much as you do. As sun tzu says if you don’t know your enemy you will lose every time.

    asset (879403)

  25. Beto says biden no different then trump on wall. Left is starting to jump ship! As DCSCA said and trump smiles putin too!

    asset (879403)

  26. They asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre which was the lie – what they are saying now or the language that they put in the Federal Refister.

    She wouldn’t exactly say, but the answer is what they put in the Federal Register. That was put there only to help release the funds (Joe Biden, till now, had been hoping to repurpose the money.)

    Joe Biden had made a hard campaign promise that not one more mile of wall would be built. So now up to 20 miles more will be built over the course of a few years.

    Sammy Finkelman (c5132f)

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