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Recently, much attention has been focused on the Department of Homeland Security’s ill-conceived Disinformation Governance Board. And rightfully so.
But against this backdrop, I believe a deeper, more organized, and deliberate disinformation campaign has been underway by political leadership at DHS.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during an April 2022 House hearing (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
This campaign has been carefully planned and executed over a series of months and has been repeated time and time again, both to the American people and the U.S. Congress. This campaign is designed to say one thing while the opposite reality occurs. This campaign goes beyond policy differences. Instead, this campaign is endangering lives and is lying to the American people.
Political leadership at DHS wants you to believe that the border is closed and secure, that DHS has “operational control” over the border, that illegal aliens are “promptly removed” from the U.S., and that DHS has a plan to address the massive surge of illegal migration that will result from removing Title 42. On all accounts, DHS is peddling disinformation to the American people; and it must stop.
Perhaps the most far-fetched and unbelievable assertion is that the border is closed and secured, and that DHS has operational control. It doesn’t take a border security expert to know these statements are simply not accurate. It’s unfathomable to assert that the border is closed when DHS has averaged over 150,000 illegal alien apprehensions and 50,000 “gotaways” every single month since President Biden took office. It’s been reported that 70 percent to 80 percent of Border Patrol agents are not on the border executing their national security mission. Rather, they are inside Border Patrol facilities processing illegal migrants. We have also learned recently that 42 individuals on U.S. terrorist watchlists were apprehended at the border. And of course, these are only the ones we know about. These historically unprecedented levels have overwhelmed Border Patrol agents to the point that they are unable to do much of their law enforcement functions.
And let’s not forget about the illegal narcotics. Mexican cartels are profiting enormously off this ongoing crisis, allowing them to smuggle record amounts of fentanyl and other illegal narcotics across the border, impacting communities across the country and causing untold human suffering. Overdoses are now the leading cause of death for young Americans, topping a staggering 100,000 deaths in 2021, a 28 percent increase from the year prior, all driven by fentanyl. More than 11,000 pounds were intercepted at the border last fiscal year, enough to kill every American seven times over.
Next, DHS falsely claims that illegal aliens are “promptly removed.” The truth is that relatively few illegal aliens are removed once here in the United States, let alone promptly. Remember, it was DHS in March 2021 that altered its removal policy to state that mere illegal entry into the United States itself was no longer grounds for removal. In fact, a recent study of ICE removal data showed that under the Biden administration, all deportations are 90% lower than in 2019, and deportations of individuals with significant criminal records are down 65 percent, the lowest levels since the 1990s. This reality refutes the recent testimony that DHS is currently focused on “criminal” aliens more so than the Trump administration.
It’s clear: the policy changes heralded by the Biden administration don’t comport with promptly removing any illegal aliens outside of those removed under Title 42. But don’t take my word for it. Even the Washington Post gave DHS Secretary Mayorkas’s assertion that illegal aliens were “promptly removed” 3 Pinocchios, a rating that signifies this claim is mostly false.
And that latest disinformation from DHS includes their 6-pillar plan designed to control the crisis. Yet nothing included in this plan will help solve or alleviate the crisis. The pillars simply outline actions and authorities that have been available to DHS for decades. Yet, the American people are led to believe this plan is something new and inventive to address this specific crisis.
The inconvenient truth is DHS’s 6-pillar plan is designed to move resources around to quicken the processing of illegal aliens into the interior of the United States. Unfortunately, taxpayer dollars are not being utilized to solve the crisis. Rather, they are being utilized to facilitate the continuation of policies that will further increase the severity of this crisis.
Is this disinformation intentional? One could argue that DHS Secretary Mayorkas has simply misspoken over the past several months, and he should be given the benefit of the doubt. The problem is that Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have afforded him the opportunity to correct the record on multiple occasions. And in every case, the secretary has doubled down and repeated this disinformation time and time again.
Now more than ever, it’s important, to be honest with the American people and Congress. We face the largest border crisis in our Nation’s history, and it will take an honest assessment to adequately combat it. The Biden administration clearly has a goal when it comes to its border policies.
That’s fine, but it needs to be honest and forthcoming with the American people. They know their plan is widely unpopular and does little to secure the border. And when faced with the realities of their policies, they’ve chosen not to tell the truth but have instead initiated a disinformation campaign against the American people.