Congressional Report Examines the Human Cost of Mayorkas’ Open-Borders Policies
FAIR Take | October 2023
Last week, the House Homeland Security Committee released its third interim report on the investigation into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas. The report focuses on the human cost of the border crisis caused by Mayorkas’ open-borders policies.
First, the report details how Americans are losing loved ones to deadly fentanyl and, in particular, how the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has exploded since Secretary Mayorkas was appointed. In Fiscal Year 2023, Customs and Border Protection has seized more than 25,300 pounds of fentanyl at the Southwest border alone, far surpassing FY22’s total of 14,100 pounds. As a result, fentanyl poisoning has become the “leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18-45.” Due to Mayorkas’ open border agenda, the report says, cartels are emboldened to smuggle increasing amounts of deadly drugs over the border, and American communities are reeling from the impact as nearly 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021, of which 70,000 are attributable to synthetic opioids other than methadone—primarily fentanyl.
Second, the House Homeland Security Committee report describes the damaging effect the border crisis is having on public safety. According to the Committee report, “The number of criminal illegal aliens apprehended by the Border Patrol has skyrocketed since Mayorkas took office, including those guilty of violent offenses like homicide, sexual assault, and domestic violence.” As a direct result of Mayorkas’ leadership, public safety in American communities has been jeopardized, and families are paying the price with the loss of loved ones.
In addition to harming public safety, the House Report also describes how Secretary Mayorkas’ policies have helped the cartels, smugglers and other criminal organizations. The cartels care little about the safety of aliens after they’ve been paid, the report says, and often “abandon those who have paid to get to the border in remote and dangerous areas, where severe heat, exposure, and miles of unforgiving desert pose deadly threats.” Not only is Secretary Mayorkas’ lack of leadership and commitment to the rule of law reassuring aliens to take incredibly dangerous journeys to the border, he is also complicit in lining the pockets of cartels with billions from smuggling operations.
The House Homeland Security Committee held two hearings as part of its third phase of the investigation. The first was held on July 27, entitled, “The Real Cost of an Open Border: How Americans are Paying the Price.” The second was held on September 13, entitled “An Unbearable Price: The Devastating Human Costs of the Biden-Mayorkas Border Crisis.”
Throughout both hearings, Members of Congress heard shocking testimony from angel moms, ranchers, law enforcement, and former DHS agents who described the far-reaching costs the border crisis has had on Americans and the migrants making the journey to the U.S. One witness, Tim Ballard, a former DHS Special Agent, and founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), testified about the brutal reality of human trafficking. Ballard emphasized a clear connection between lack of border security and an increase in human trafficking efforts by cartels. Ballard noted a devastating conversation he had with a young woman who was brought across the border in an area with no barriers. Her captors “brought her to New York City where she was sold and raped for money up to 30-40 times a day for five years.”
The House Homeland Security Committee report cites several actions taken by Mayorkas that encourage human trafficking and the exploitation of unaccompanied children. Under Mayorkas, a record number of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) have crossed the southern border—over 400,000. In comparison, the four-year total of UAC encounters from FY17 through FY20 was around 221,000. A flood of UACs into the country combined with a lack of DNA testing (which Mayorkas halted) and rushed release creates a perfect storm for smugglers and traffickers looking to exploit children for sex and labor.
The information covered in the report will help the Committee as it wraps up the investigation and recommends next steps, as detailed previously by FAIR. Witness testimony, and evidence in the report, show a clear link between Secretary Mayorkas’ actions and the increased human costs inflicted upon American communities. The Homeland Security Committee began the fourth phase of its investigation, focused on the fiscal costs of the border crisis, on September 20, and will hold additional hearings in the coming weeks.