60 Minutes Profile of Mayorkas Demonstrates that the Media Have Become Willing Accomplices to the Border Crisis
FAIR Take | April 2023
For the past two years, FAIR has labeled the unprecedented chaos at our southern border, “The Biden Border Crisis.” Joe Biden is the president. He owns it.
That said, Joe Biden couldn’t have made this mess entirely on his own. He has had plenty of help – most notably, Alejandro Mayorkas whom he appointed to be his Secretary of Homeland Security. Mayorkas truly is the architect of the policies that have created the border crisis as well as illegal schemes to subvert statutory limits on immigration by asserting virtually limitless executive authority to parole inadmissible migrants into the United States.
For these reasons, Mayorkas has also serves as Biden’s lightning rod on the issue, taking the heat from Republican lawmakers (and even some Democrats) for policies that endanger national security, public health, and cost American taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Congress cannot haul the president before oversight committees to justify what is going on, but they can do that to members of his cabinet – which is exactly what happened to Mayorkas last week.
Over several days last week, Mayorkas was grilled by members of both the House and Senate about issues ranging from the unprecedented numbers of migrants crossing the border illegally; DHS’s inability to keep track of them once they’re here; the volume of lethal fentanyl pouring across the border; and growing power of the criminal cartels that control much of the illegal activities along the border, to name just a few.
All-in-all, it was a bad week for Mayorkas and for the White House, which continues to insist that there is no crisis at the border and that, in any event, things are getting better every day. But over the weekend, Mayorkas got a little relief from the elitist legacy media that has spent the better part of the last two years ignoring the situation at the border. CBS’s 60 Minutes program (by sheer coincidence, no doubt) just happened to run a profile of the embattled DHS secretary on Sunday evening.
During the 13-minute segment, reporter Sharyn Alfonsi peppered Mayorkas with questions that were cleverly designed to appear hard-hitting, but in fact allowed him to spout the administration’s talking points, unchallenged. Just a few of the most glaring areas where 60 Minutes failed to push back against Mayorkas’ implausible assertions, included:
- Alfonsi pressing Mayorkas (but not too hard) about his refusal to label the situation at the border a crisis, but allowed him to settle on a “very serious challenge” instead, without ever confronting him with the fact that his own Border Patrol chief has repeatedly called it a crisis.
- The reporter failing to challenge Mayorkas’ assertion that the “challenge” at the border preceded the Biden administration, even though border encounters increased six-fold – from 400,000 in FY 2020 to nearly 2.4 million in FY 2022.
- Alfonsi accepting at face value Mayorkas’ claim that the millions of migrants he has allowed to enter the country, who are now in a seven-year waiting queue to their asylum hearings, can and will be removed if their asylum claims are denied.
60 Minutes isn’t what it used to be – a relatively paltry 6.7 million viewers tuned in to see Sunday evening’s edition – but it is indicative of the elitist media’s abrogation of their responsibility to inform the American public and hold those whose decisions have wide-reaching impact accountable. In doing so, they have become accomplices in the Biden Border Crisis.