A migrant girl from Central America waits with her mother after they are dropped off by the US Customs and Border Protection at a bus station at the Southwest border in Brownsville, Texas. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – The Biden administration’s “don’t come now” message is “too little, too late,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
I think it’s too little too late because the traffickers know they can take children from Central America, extort the families, exploit the children on the dangerous journey back to the United States. And now, you know, they’re calling back home, saying, hey, we got in.
So until this policy changes, I would urge the administration to revisit the migrant protection protocols. This worked, and it was very effective.
Under the Migrant Protection Protocols, the Trump administration required would-be asylum seekers to wait in Mexico or their home countries for the duration of their immigration proceedings.
On the Sunday talk shows, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas blamed the Trump administration for the recent surge of illegal immigration, saying that Trump “dismantled” the entire immigration system by ending the Central American Minors Program, which reunited children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with relatives who are lawfully present in the United States.
The Biden administration is touting its “humane” immigration policy, particularly as it applies to children, which is interpreted in Central America as come one, come all.
“No, I think they’ve created the crisis,” McCaul said of the Biden administration:
He (Mayorkas) says he has a plan. I haven’t seen a plan. They talk about humane conditions, humanitarian. They have created a humanitarian crisis down here at this border that you have seen now.
And the reason why they are coming is because he says words do matter, and they do. The messaging is that if you want to come, you can stay.
When Mayorkas says we’re not saying don’t come at all, just don’t come (now) — very irresponsible rhetoric for a secretary of Homeland Security to say. And now, in his words, we have the greatest — well, not crisis, because he won’t call it that, in 20 years.
You know, in this sector alone, where I used to be a federal prosecutor, spiking 230 percent from last year, there is a direct cause and effect on the messaging. But then to do away, you know, politics aside, to do away with what was one of the most successful negotiated agreements with Mexico and Central America, to remain in Mexico and apply for political asylum, but now they’ve created this — this crisis of children coming in.
The traffickers are smart. Cartels are smart. They know our laws, policies. And this started right after the election. And in the last two months we’ve seen a real surge.
McCaul said “deterrence” is the key to stopping the illegal immigration surge.
I talked to the ambassador from Guatemala. He said, you know, “My children were staying in my country. What I worry about now is I have a generation leaving my country. We want to keep them here, so we want to work on private investments in Central America, get to the root cause.”
But this is — this is — it’s a humanitarian crisis, when you see the children and the babies — we’re going back to separation of families, and the traffickers are separating the children from the families. And we’re going back to catch-and-release.
And we’re going back to kids in cages all over again. And this is something that President Trump and his policies, with respect to remain in Mexico and Central America, had stopped.
McCaul recommended more “technology,” including drones, between ports of entry as well as a resumption of the remain in Mexico/Central America policy that barred foreigners, including children, from applying for asylum on U.S. soil.
McCaul also predicted that the crisis at the border will get worse: “It’s going to get a lot worse, springtime, summer, more and more come over. The message is coming back that, ‘Hey, we’ve got a new president; come on in; we’re open for business to the traffickers.’
“And guess what? They’re right here. And I predict a million people trying to get into this country by the summertime.”