WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today questioned Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the Biden administration’s mishandling of the ongoing immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Kennedy pressed Mayorkas on DHS’s releasing illegal immigrants who are COVID positive, who have criminal records or who have promptly taken advantage of welfare programs into American communities.
Key excerpts include:
Kennedy: “I don’t think you deserve to have to be here today to answer questions about immigration because I don’t think you’re calling the shots. I think those shots are being called out of the White House. I think they ought to be here. The people determining our border policy—in your opinion—are they just incompetent, or do they believe in open borders?”
Mayorkas: “Senator, I’m intensely and immensely proud to be a member of President Biden’s cabinet, and for the policies that are promulgated, I should be held accountable.”
Kennedy: “Right. I looked last night at President Biden’s platform when he ran for president. He supported amnesty for the 11.7 million people in our country illegally. He promised he would end the Remain in Mexico program. He promised he would end the Safe Third Country agreements. He promised he would get rid of the border wall. He promised to encourage sanctuary cities, and he said, ‘I’m not going to deport people.’ Can we agree that you don’t have to be Mensa-material to understand that’s an open border policy?”
. . .
Kennedy: “Vice President Harris, our boarder czar, what kind of grade would you give her?”
Mayorkas: “Vice President Harris is not the border czar. Vice President Harris has been asked by the president of the United States to focus on root causes.”
Kennedy: “Okay, let me ask this quickly in my last few seconds: When’s the last time you talked to her about securing the border?”
Mayorkas: “Several weeks ago.”
- This November, Kennedy helped introduce the Prohibiting Taxpayer Funded Settlements for Illegal Immigrants Act to block President Biden’s reported plan to spend $450,000 per person for legal settlements for illegal immigrants. Kennedy led Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in writing to Biden in November opposing the plan.
- This October, Kennedy and more than 30 other senators wrote to Mayorkas urging him to address reports that thousands of illegal immigrants in Del Rio, Texas were released into the interior of the U.S. instead of facing removal as the Biden administration had previously pledged.
- This March, Kennedy introduced the Empowering Immigration Courts Act, the Terrorist Deportation Act, the Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act and the Criminal Alien Removal Clarification Act to empower immigration courts and make dangerous aliens deportable.
- This March, Kennedy also introduced the Visa Lottery Repeal Act, the Preventing Visa Overstays Act and the Ending Sanctuary Cities Act to address key flaws in America’s immigration system and enforcement.
Watch the video of Kennedy’s questioning here.