Sen. Chuck Grassley slammed the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday for policies that led to what he called a “sorry state of affairs” at the US-Mexico border.
“The most solemn responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security is to protect the people of the United States,” Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said at the top of a hearing featuring DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“In choosing to actively ignore the immigration laws passed by Congress and in choosing to pursue policies that encourage unprecedented levels of uncontrolled illegal immigration to the United States, this Administration and this DHS have failed on both counts,” Grassley added.
Grassley noted that federal authorities have apprehended more than 1.4 million migrants since President Biden took office.
“That on its own is an astounding number,” he said. “It’s greater than the individual populations of Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, and Washington, DC. It’s twice as large as the Des Moines, Iowa, metro area. And that doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who got away.”
According to Grassley, the ongoing crisis has been caused by Biden rolling back or reversing many of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, adding that the “sorry state of affairs was entirely preventable … it was also entirely predictable.”
”When you terminate physical barrier construction, severely restrict the ability of ICE to deport illegal immigrants, terminate the ’Remain in Mexico’ program, roll back asylum cooperative agreements, gut Title 42, and openly support sanctuary city policies, then you shouldn’t be surprised when there’s a surge at the southern border,” Grassley said in his opening remarks.
“When you allow the ACLU and open-borders immigration activists rather than career law enforcement professionals to dictate the terms of your immigration and border policies, then you shouldn’t be surprised when record-shattering numbers of people start showing up at the border to take advantage of that,” Grassley added.
“When you run DHS like it’s an ‘Abolish ICE’ fan club, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have an illegal immigration crisis on your hands,” the senator went on.
Mayorkas was expected to be grilled during the hearing about the numbers of migrants crossing the border, as well as the enforcement of orders to appear or report to an immigration judge or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement after they are released into the US.