Gimenez Grills Mayorkas on Border Crisis and Biden's Ability to Stop It

Gimenez Grills Mayorkas on Border Crisis and Biden's Ability to Stop It

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 17, 2024

Is the border crisis solvable through executive action rather than an act of Congress? Representative Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) has maintained this position, reflected in his questions for Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas during a recent hearing on the Department's 2025 budget, asking Mayorkas if he ever considered telling President Biden to reimplement building the border wall and the Remain in Mexico policy.

Rep. Gimenez began by pointing out that House Democrats "are always throwing money at the issue... except the real culprit here is has been over 64 executive actions taken by the executive branch that actually caused the problem at the border. Not once have I ever heard any of my Democrat colleagues ask, 'Why do we not start constructing the wall again? Why don't we reinstitute the Remain in Mexico, which will actually take care of about 70% of the problem?"

He then asked Sec. Mayorkas if he expected the record of migrant encounters at the border to be broken in Fiscal Year 2024, as the previous years were. Sec. Mayorkas replied that the failed bipartisan border deal partly introduced by Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) "would make a significant difference."

Undeterred, Rep. Gimenez asked Sec. Mayorkas if he ever requested President Biden reverse some of the 64 executive actions as mentioned.

The Homeland Security Secretary said he was not familiar with the actions Gimenez spoke of, although "I assure you that they are not the cause of the largest displacement of people in the world, including in our hemisphere."

The Florida Congressman pressed on, "Are you familiar with the President's executive order to stop the construction of the wall on the southern border? I most certainly am. Have you advised him that maybe it is a good idea to start construction again on the southern wall to stop the flow of illegal immigration?"

"I do not believe it is," Mayorkas answered.

Gimenez's line of questioning came to the Remain in Mexico policy, which would supposedly reduce the number of migrants attempting to cross the border by 70 percent. However, Mayorkas countered that the program's success was only because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 reducing travel altogether, and Mexico will not support the program's reinstatement anyway.

The Florida Congressman got in the last word by replying, "The only reason they will not support... [Mexico] did support the Remain in Mexico policy, and then you unilaterally withdrew it. It was not because of Mexico asking you to stop it. You just did it."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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