Why Our Southern Border Crisis Could Soon Get Even Worse

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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is facing the threat of impeachment should Republicans reclaim control of the U.S. House. An unprecedented border crisis and its ravaging effects prompted 133 House Republicans to write to Mayorkas on Monday, citing “grave questions” about his “suitability for office.”

Only once in U.S. history has the House impeached a Cabinet official; Secretary of War William Belknap was later acquitted by the Senate in 1876. Now, nearly 150 years later, pressure is building on Mayorkas.

Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Trump administration, says the the problem on our southern border is about to get much worse. He joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to explain what’s happening and why it matters to every American.

That’s one reason he supports Mayorkas’ impeachment. “He’s turning a blind eye. He has failed the United States. He has failed this country, so he should be impeached,” Morgan tells The Daily Signal.

Morgan, who previously served as chief of U.S. Border Patrol in the Obama administration and was acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is currently a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation (publisher of The Daily Signal).

Read the lightly edited transcript, listen, or watch the interview.

Rob Bluey: There are so many things we could talk about when it comes to the Biden border crisis, but I want to just begin by having you give us an assessment of where things are today, here, the end of April, and what we’re facing next month.

Mark Morgan: Look, so far what we’ve seen in the first 14 months of this administration, it’s the worst crisis we’ve ever experienced on a southwest border. The numbers tell the story.

If we move to just this fiscal year alone, the first six months of this fiscal year, 1.2 million encounters, over 300,000 “got-aways,” and a couple hundred thousands “turn-backs.” That’s over 1.7 million illegal aliens that have tried to break into this country. That shatters 20-year record highs, and right now it’s getting worse.

And I know most people have heard about the end of Title 42. Once that ends, I always steal Sen. [John Neely] Kennedy’s line, where that’s going to be like the Hindenburg crashing into the Titanic.

Bluey: Tell our audience what Title 42 is, why it was put in place to begin with, and what the consequences of ending it will be.

Morgan: Title 42, it’s not an immigration policy, it’s a public health policy.

When we’re in the throes of the worst global infectious disease pandemic, we saw Title 42 allowed Border Patrol agents to further reduce the introduction of COVID-19 into the country. It made sense. So, we were able to actually remove those that were illegally entering in a couple of hours. Again, I think that saved countless American lives, saved untold amount of suffering.

This administration, in their, again, infinite wisdom of open-border policies, now have decided to end Title 42. They’ve used that in the past 14 months to remove well over a million illegal aliens. Once they remove that, those illegal aliens they’ve been removing, now they’re going to come into the United States, and they’re anticipating it’s going to take this catastrophic crisis, make it worse. And that’s why I say it’s going to be like the Hindenburg crashing into the Titanic.

Bluey: It’s truly remarkable. You gave us some numbers. What does it look like? Are there any projections in terms of what we’re currently seeing, which is overwhelming, and what it will be like at the end of May once this is rescinded?

Morgan: Yeah, I think this one is a good question. In March, what we just saw was about 220,000 encounters. The Border Patrol’s own chief—I refer to him as the embattled chief, because I don’t think he’s doing enough right now—he’s saying, going forward, we’re going to see sustained numbers anywhere between 7,000 to 9,000 for the rest of the year. And we’re just now entering the peak season of illegal immigration.

But then once Title 42 ends, you’re going to see this additional tsunami. They’re saying it could be anywhere from 18,000 to 20,000 a day for a little while. And the reason why we know that is because just the rhetoric, the cartels are already exploiting it, and they’re telling the illegal aliens now, as soon as Title 42 goes, they’re going to release all of you in the United States.

So we’re seeing masses of amounts of illegal aliens that are kind of positioned on the Mexico side right now, waiting for Title 42 to end. When it does, that’s why you’re going to see this additional tsunami come on the tsunami we’ve already faced.

Bluey: And what are they going to do with all of these illegal aliens who do come into our country? Because it’s not just going to be Texas and New Mexico and Arizona and California. They’re going to go into communities all over this country, I would imagine.

Morgan: That’s right. This is why I love talking to you, because you’ve got this, you understand this. And that’s the issue. So, to actually address this catastrophic crisis on top of a crisis once Title 42 ends, they’re not doing anything to reverse policy. They’re not doing anything to secure the borders. They’re not doing anything to stem the flow of illegal immigration. Nope.

Their mandate right now is just to get better at processing and getting faster at releasing individuals to every town, city, and state in this country. And that’s what we’re seeing right now.

Bluey: And your colleague Tom Homan has a new piece in The Daily Signal about this idea of giving them phones so they can keep track, but there are some problems with that as well.

Morgan: It is. It’s kind of silly. Look, it’s part of what’s called ATD, alternatives to detention. It’s really a part of a much larger issue. Sometimes they put ankle bracelets, now it’s phones. It really doesn’t matter, because at the end, it’s all failure. It’s all about that they do not want to apply consequences. They will not detain anybody.

So, think about it. You illegally enter the country. They facilitate that. And there’s no consequences and there are no deterrents, because they’re basically systematically ending detention. So, they’re releasing people in the United States, and then they won’t allow [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] to remove them.

And the phones, the ankle bracelets, it’s a joke. At the end of the day, when they get a final order of removal, they don’t comply. It’s a joke. And here’s another thing, too, another false narrative: A lot of the illegal aliens coming in, they already have their own phones.

“I promise, the bad things and bad people that come across the southwest border, they’re making their way to every town, city, and state,” says Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Trump administration.

Bluey: You have spent your career in law enforcement. You’ve worked with the Border Patrol. You’ve seen this up close and personal. What’s the morale of the people who are on the front lines, trying their best to enforce the law and keep our country safe?

Morgan: Yeah, I appreciate this question. I truly believe that the men and women in the United States Border Patrol are just simply heroes.

I mean, every single day—even though every imaginable tool, authority, and policy has been taken away from them to do their job to protect this country—every single day they’re still getting up, putting their badge on their chest, and walking to the front lines of our nation’s borders, risking their lives to do their job, even though it’s virtually impossible right now.

We’ve heard from the Border Patrol agents that they feel like now they’re nothing more than a federal travel agency for the illegal aliens themselves.

I recently got information from a 26-year veteran in the Border Patrol that, as he was getting ready, and he’s looking in the mirror, and he’s getting his uniform all squared away, he looked up and he said, “You know, I had this rush come over me.” And he goes, “I realize,” as he’s looking at himself in the mirror, he realized, he said that, “I am now part of the largest federal smuggling organization in the world.” My heart sank. He goes, “I’m no longer proud to be a part of the organization that I’ve been for 26 years of my life.”

Bluey: Wow.

Morgan: It’s devastating.

Bluey: We’ve seen some state leaders take action: Gov. [Greg] Abbott recently in Texas. Attorney General Mark Brnovich in Arizona declaring it an invasion. He’s been on “The Daily Signal Podcast” to talk about that. With the federal government seemingly inept and incapable of acting on the president’s orders, what can states do to try to step up to the game and make sure that we are safe?

Morgan: This is where we’re at now, and we need to be talking about this more. And we talk about the federal government’s incapacity; let’s make no mistake, it’s by design. They are intentionally abdicating their constitutional responsibilities.

In the Constitution, a thing called the guarantee clause, it says the federal government has the mandate responsibility to protect the states from threats from outside our borders. It’s clear this administration has abdicated that responsibility. I think that the case can be made for this is a full-on invasion of our southwest border, driven by the cartels.

So, there’s also this little thing in the Constitution—like you said, AG Brnovich, his team did a really good job of walking through the analysis. I really encourage your listeners to take a look at that. … There’s also a thing called the states’ self-help part of the Constitution, where it says if the federal government fails to do their job, the states have a remedy within the Constitution to help themselves to protect themselves.

We first have to get over the hurdle, is this the definition? I think AG Brnovich is right. I think this satisfies what’s happening and the definition of “invasion” from our forefathers. And that would allow states to not enforce immigration law, because they can’t enforce federal immigration law, but they can protect themselves from the threats pouring across their border.

Bluey: So, one of the things that Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts has called on, and I believe you support as well, is the impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security. Obviously, that’s not going to happen with this current makeup of Congress, but perhaps in the next Congress, that’ll be a situation.

Aside from that, what are the other steps that members of Congress can take to really put the pressure on this administration to reverse course and really wake up to the threat that we’re facing?

Morgan: Yeah, there’s a couple of things. One, you’re absolutely right, I do support impeaching Secretary Mayorkas, because look, he knows. He’s a smart guy. He was the former deputy secretary of [the Department of Homeland Security]. He knows that his open-border policies are negatively impacting every aspect of our nation’s public health, safety, and national security. He knows it, but he’s being driven by ideology. He’s turning a blind eye. He has failed the United States. He has failed this country, so he should be impeached.

But there’s a couple of other things in addition that we do when we’re working with Congress. One is oversight. We need to hold this administration accountable, from the president all the way down. So we’re working with members of Congress right now so when hopefully the right people get in place and they regain the majority, they can start having appropriate hearings and start calling in appropriate people to testify and hold them accountable.

The other thing is legislation. Look, we’ve been saying a long time, you just can’t throw money and people at the border crisis and think that’s going to solve it. It’s not. It’s going to take that, plus legislation, a really solid policy to end the open-border policies we have right now. So, we’re working with Congress as well.

I hope in January, as soon as the new members get sworn in, that House Bill 1 is down there with all the policies that’s needed to secure the border.

Bluey: Do you think completing the wall will be one of those?

Morgan: It better be.

Bluey: Final question for you. I think there are so many issues confronting our country right now. Why should this be one of the priorities that the American people are focused on?

Morgan: Yeah, look, of all the questions, I really appreciate that question the most because there’s a misunderstanding—and some of it is done by design by this administration, open-border advocates—that somehow what happens on the southwest border stays there and doesn’t impact anybody else. It’s just a lie. It’s not true. It’s why we say every town, city, and state is a border town, city, and state.

I promise, the bad things and bad people that come across the southwest border, they’re making their way to every town, city, and state.

Let’s take drugs for example—100,000 Americans die in a 12-month period because of drug overdose. That’s more Americans than died from all the terrorist attacks; the Iraq, Vietnam, and Afghanistan wars combined—100,000 in a 12-month period. The leading cause of adults from 18 to 45 is fentanyl. Guess where it all comes from, all the drugs? Southwest border. We never hear about that.

The 600,000, 700,000, 800,000 got-aways that have evaded apprehension, they don’t stay on the border. They make their way to every town, city, and state. And there are some very bad people among them committing very violent crime in every state across this nation. That’s why it’s important to all of us.

Bluey: Well, Mark Morgan, thank you for making it front and center and doing all that you do, not only to focus on the problem, but put forward solutions. We appreciate it.

Morgan: Absolutely. Thank you.

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