House Committee: Biden administration policies empower cartels, undermine national security

President Joe Biden speaks at the 2023 Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

House Committee: Biden administration policies empower cartels, undermine national security

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(The Center Square) – Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security say they are continuing to produce evidence to support their claim that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is derelict in his duty and should be removed from office.

In July, the committee published its first report detailing the laws and court orders the committee says Mayorkas has “ignored, abused or failed to follow.” Members cite alleged violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), including an abuse of its parole program, detention and removal requirements, instituting mass parole programs, ignoring federal court orders, among other actions.

Last month, the committee released its “phase 2 interim report” as part of its oversight investigation. The second report details how Mexican cartels “have seized unprecedented control at the Southwest border to smuggle illegal aliens, criminals, suspected terrorists, and deadly fentanyl and other drugs into the United States.”

“For more than two years, the chaos at the Southwest border caused by President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ reckless open-borders policies have endangered the lives and livelihoods of Americans across this country while also threatening our homeland security,” Committee Chairman Mark Green, R-Tennessee, said. “This damning report emphasizes how Secretary Mayorkas’ refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress have given cartels a historic business opportunity, allowing them to rake in billions of dollars from historic levels of human smuggling and trafficking, as well as the trafficking of deadly drugs like fentanyl into our communities.”

The report describes tactics used by the cartels, including task saturation, where cartel operatives funnel large groups of people to certain points along the border between ports of entry to intentionally overwhelm Border Patrol agents. Doing so results in agents being pulled off the line where they’d normally be patrolling for criminals. With agents no longer patrolling the border, cartel operatives then move other groups of people and drugs through open areas to smuggle them into the U.S.

The report also documents how transnational gangs are working with cartel operatives to oversee a massive human smuggling operation. It also points to historic numbers of known, suspected terrorists apprehended at the border, which totaled 659 in fiscal 2023, the greatest number in recorded history.

The report describes the cartels’ record profits made, which in turn fuels and expands their weapons arsenals and criminal network. It also describes how the people being smuggled into the U.S. owe thousands of dollars and are trapped in debt bondage, as The Center Square has previously reported. It describes the use of stash houses, drone operations and surveillance being used by cartels to further their criminal enterprises, as The Center Square has also previously reported. It connects cartel activity to violence in local communities, including the rise of organized retail theft, as well as the national security threats criminal foreign nationals pose to Americans, among raising other concerns.

The committee cites original reporting from The Center Square, including Border Patrol agents explaining how they no longer have operational control of the border, as well as agents continuing to arrest the greatest number of noncitizens with criminal convictions on record as a result of Biden administration policies.

The committee concludes that Biden’s and Mayorkas’ policies “have emboldened and enriched the cartels, ceded control of America’s sovereign Southwest border to these organizations, and jeopardized the safety and security of individuals and communities across this country in the process.”

Mayorkas has repeatedly testified before Congress, and publicly claimed the border is secure, and the administration is providing a “safe, orderly and humane” process to allow entry into the U.S. In July, Mayorkas testified before the House Judiciary Committee claiming his policies had “weakened” the cartels’ operations.

“That claim does not withstand even cursory scrutiny,” the report concludes. “The facts are indeed clear – the cartels have been the greatest winners from Mayorkas and Biden’s open-borders policies.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner
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