- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 17, 2021

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Thursday that President Biden’s policies have nothing to do with the surge in illegal immigrants that has swamped his administration, insisting it’s part of normal ups and downs.

“Those of us who have addressed challenges at the border for many, many years have seen spikes, decreases, spikes again, decreases again. It’s a very dynamic situation,” Mr. Mayorkas told the House Homeland Security Committee.

He said he blames what he called the “root causes of migration,” adding that it’s “overdue” that the government address them.

It’s an explanation that even the illegal immigrants themselves disagree with.

Those coming right now have told Border Patrol agents and news reporters alike that they believe they have a better chance of getting in and gaining a foothold in the U.S. thanks to Mr. Biden’s policy changes.

Indeed, that was the position of Mr. Mayorkas’ old boss, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, when Mr. Mayorkas served as deputy secretary in the Obama administration.

At that time Homeland Security argued in federal courts that U.S. policy is a critical factor in illegal immigrants’ decision-making.

One of those officials was Tae Johnson, who is now acting director at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and who said in a sworn declaration in 2015 that catch-and-release of illegal immigrants does invite more to come.

Catch-and-release was mostly ended under the Trump administration but has come back under the Biden administration, with tens of thousands of border jumpers being released into communities each month.

Among the changes that Mr. Biden and Mr. Mayorkas made are deleting agreements with other countries to stem the flow of people crossing their boundaries, erasing the “Remain in Mexico” policy that prevented catch-and-release and granting new chances for illegal immigrants to get work permits.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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