Sen. Lee Claims DHS Sec. Mayorkas is Trying to Bypass 'Duly Enacted Laws' on Border

Patrick Taylor | May 27, 2022
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On Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) attacked an immigration enforcement rule spearheaded by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas. Republicans, including Lee, opposed a measure that would allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officers, rather than immigration court judges, to approve illegal migrants’ asylum claims.

Lee said the following on the House floor on Thursday:

In the midst of this unprecedented crisis at our southern border, the Department of Homeland Security, under Secretary Mayorkas, has, by regulation, bypassed duly enacted laws to make the asylum process a mere rubber stamp for basically anyone who can make it to our borders.

Because of the Internet and the sophistication of coyotes and cartels, every alien encountered knows to express fear of returning to their home country, thus triggering the asylum process. This rule would change that adversarial process, whereby one actually has to produce some shred of evidence that they'll qualify for asylum to a non-adversarial process whereby the alien merely has to assert the claim.

Related: Gov. Abbott: DC Might Get The Message By 450th Migrant Bus

Lee further argued that because detention would become unnecessary, USCIS officers would be incentivized to near-universally approve asylum applications “because no time will be required.”

The U.S. Senate voted 48-46 to reject Lee and other Republicans’ resolution of disapproval, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joining Democrats to “preserve a procedural move to bring it up again.”

Encounters of illegal migrants, the large majority of whom are adults, spiked to an unprecedented 1,659,206 in fiscal year 2021.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has fought in court to lift Title 42, a policy that allows for the expulsion of illegal migrants from the country based on the potential spread of communicable diseases. Should the policy be lifted, it’s likely that border crossings in the U.S. will continue to climb exponentially.


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