Biden administration officials “want the cartels to maximize profits,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton contends.
President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have created “opportunities for the cartels to expand their network, not just in Mexico or Central America, but across our country,” Paxton, a Republican, says.
Since Biden took office, more than 5 million illegal aliens have been encountered at the southern border. Already this fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, more than 1.2 million illegal aliens have been encountered at the border.
Given the current situation on the border, Mayorkas should “absolutely” be impeached, Paxton says.
Mayorkas “is a pathetic leader,” the Texas attorney general says, adding, that the homeland security chief “is there to destroy our immigration system. And he mocks us every day when he lies to us and says there’s no problem, that he’s doing his job.”
Paxton joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss the more than a dozen border crisis-related lawsuits his office has filed against the Biden administration and what will happen after Title 42, a public health measure that was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, is lifted.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Virginia Allen: It is my honor today to welcome to the show Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Attorney General, thank you so much for being here.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: Hey, thanks for having me.
Allen: Texas is truly on the front lines of the border crisis. In January, you filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over a new program that would allow up to 360,000 aliens from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to be paroled into the United States every year.
Why is your office taking the Biden administration to court over this?
Paxton: There’s two main reasons. One is, he started on Day One saying that no longer would he deport illegal immigrants. That’s clearly a violation of federal law. His job is to follow federal law. So, because he doesn’t do that, has a tremendous negative impact on our state. I mean, we have a lot higher crime rates. We have more kids dying from fentanyl overdoses, a lot more. We have a lot of other crime that’s being created by the cartels. And cartels are growing much stronger as a result of the Biden administration partnering with them on this illegal immigration. They’ve encouraged them to come. They’ve told them to come. They’ll accept them.
And so, the cartels are making billions of dollars, which fortifies their ability to not only just work in Mexico, but to cross borders and set up organizations across our state and across the country.
The second is, it’s pretty important that the Constitution is followed. Otherwise, we have no voice. And if we have a president that says, “Look, I don’t want to follow federal law on this, this,” and it’s what he’s done over … not just on immigration, but on many issues.
And so we have immigrations laws that he’s not just ignored, but he’s said, “I’m not following this. I’m doing what I want to do.” So, what that leads to is more of a—I don’t know—dictatorship, more of a kingship almost, where we the people, our voice is not heard anymore. And so, it’s really important that we stop him, because if we don’t, he’ll just continue to rule with edicts instead of with law.
Allen: So, where does this lawsuit stand right now?
Paxton: So, it’s in the federal court. Unfortunately, all these lawsuits are slow because we typically will file for an injunction, and we have those hearings, and then we have to work our way. We win, they lose, they appeal. And so, we’re still at the beginning stages of this, but we’re going to continue to fight.
We have, I think, 16 immigration lawsuits that we filed since the beginning. Some of those are moot now because, the deportation issue he was only doing for the first 100 days, but “remain in Mexico,” which is the most important, in my opinion, provision that protected us.
Title 42, another one, the catch-and-release thing that [President Donald] Trump stopped, that Biden started up, and the building of the wall. The four things that really made a difference when Trump came into office to significantly reduce illegal immigration. And since he left, because Biden has not followed federal law and not tried to help us, but actually tried to hurt us, those numbers are up [300%], 400%.
Allen: Let’s zoom out here for a second and talk about where things stand specifically on the border in Texas right now. What is the size and scope currently of the border crisis? What are agents dealing with?
Paxton: So, I mean, the numbers are massive. The Border Patrol are, they’re not equipped to handle the numbers that are coming in. No one ever anticipated. And that’s actually one of the excuses that they’ve used for letting people in.
They said, “Well, it’s Congress’ fault because they didn’t provide enough resources to house these people, detain them before their hearings on whether they deserve asylum. So, we can’t do anything about it. It’s not our fault. We’re just letting them go because we don’t have the resources.”
Well, no one ever anticipated that the Biden administration would invite the cartels to bring as many people as possible. And so it’s a sleight of hand. It’s deception. It’s fraud on the part of the Biden administration to claim that this is Congress’ fault, when in reality they have created, promoted, encouraged the cartels to bring as much crime and as much human trafficking and illegal immigration as possible.
Allen: Now a moment ago, you mentioned Title 42. I want to talk about that for a few minutes. Of course, Title 42 is a public health measure that was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s allowed Border Patrol agents to expel illegal aliens very rapidly. And some have sort of referred to it as the last line of defense that Border Patrol agents really have to expel migrants. Well, now that order is set to go away on May 11th. What happens after that?
Paxton: It gets worse. We had, like I said, four basic things that Trump did to make illegal immigration a declining issue. And Biden has purposely and methodically eliminated every protection for the American people, for my people in Texas, by now eliminating Title 42 by getting rid of the underlying order about COVID. But on top of that, the “Remain in Mexico” polich on top of that, not building the wall. And on top of that, catch-and-release is now every day. And it’s encouraged.
Allen: So, walk us through what that means for Border Patrol agents who are having to deal with repercussions after May 11th, no more Title 42. What is their job going to look like?
Paxton: So, they’re disrespected completely. The Biden administration has no regard for them, no respect, doesn’t care what happens to them. They’re at greater risk because of illegal immigration and the cartel’s becoming stronger. So, their jobs are more risky, and they’re not allowed to do their job.
They’re told not to do their job, and they’re told not to tell anybody. They’re told not to do their job. So, it’s a corruption of the Biden administration, and it’s a corruption that hurts the border agents. It hurts their morale. We don’t have enough people that can get down there. They’re recruiting air marshals.
And I was talking to an air marshal that was recruited to go work the border. We’re trying to help them at the state level. We’re spending billions of our own dollars that the federal government’s not reimbursing. But honestly, that doesn’t fix the problem, because when you can just turn yourself in and claim the magic word of “asylum” and then just walk in.
Border Patrol is not trying to stop people anymore. These people are not running. They are running, but they’re running to the Border Patrol, not away. And so that leaves us in a bad spot, because they’re not even trying to cross the border illegally. They’re just walking over and saying, “We’re here. … “
Allen: When you talk to Border Patrol agents, are they honest with you … are they telling you how they’re really doing?
Paxton: I don’t “out” them, yes. They’re very honest. They’re frustrated that they’re being told, “Don’t do your job. Do the opposite. We don’t want you to do your job. We want you to violate federal … .”
They’re being forced to violate federal law. They’re being forced to do things that they believe are wrong. And if they don’t, they’re punished and fired, or they’re just like these guys that their careers and their lives were ruined by the Biden administration claiming that these guys on horses did something illegal or wrong. They still got punished, even though they did nothing wrong.
Allen: The Biden administration has recently announced a new rule to create allegedly lawful, safe, and orderly pathways for migrants to enter America. Can you explain what exactly the Biden administration is doing here?
Paxton: All they’re trying to do is create more avenues for more people to come here. Their goal is to get as many illegals from … It doesn’t matter their background, including criminals. They’re encouraging criminals. They’re encouraging countries to send their worst criminals to our country.
And the Biden administration, we’re fighting them to try to just even stop the criminals. And they’re fighting us saying, “No, we want them.” So, they want the worst of the worst. They want as many people coming. They want the cartels to maximize profits and get these people in. And they say it every day.
By creating opportunity, all they’re doing is creating as many opportunities for the cartels to expand their network, not just in Mexico or Central America, but across our country, because they have so much money and so much incentive now. And the Biden administration has provided all the incentives possible to make them very wealthy organizations.
Allen: Now, I know that those who maybe support President Biden, they might hear those comments and say, “No, Biden is trying to open up so that families can come, people can come for better opportunities into America. They’re not trying to bring criminals in. That’s just unfortunately a negative result.” What’s your response to that?
Paxton: Well, that’s not just not true. He is bringing criminals in. He’s working with the cartels and may not be talking to him directly, but he’s telling them up front, “We’re creating as many opportunities for you as you can get. So, however you need to get people here, do it.”
And I would tell those people, they’re very naive to think that the repercussions of not following our federal laws and not following our Constitution, where our elected representatives debate what is the best policy to put into law, as opposed to a president says, “I’m the guy, I’m the dictator here. I tell you what to do.”
If that’s the country they want, they don’t want a free country. They want a ruler. And some people want kings. There are plenty of nations that have chosen dictatorships and kings. Some people in our country may prefer that. I don’t, and I don’t think a lot of Americans appreciate these rights that were are not given by the government. These are inalienable. These come from God. They’re our right. And we have every right to demand that our government respect those rights.
Allen: So, what are you all doing in Texas in order to secure the border where you say that the federal government isn’t?
Paxton: So, we’re very limited, but we’re spending billions of dollars. We’ve got literally hundreds, if not thousands, of law enforcement officers trying to stop people from crossing the border. The ones that won’t turn themselves in, that are so bad, trying to stop them.
But we’re still confined to turning them back over. And we don’t know what happens after that. So, we’re trying to protect our ranchers down there, or property, but we don’t have enough resources. And we’re not being helped. We’re spending literally billions of our own dollars to do what the federal government is supposedly required to.
And then the courts tell us we can’t step in and do the federal government’s role because we’re preempted. And yet, the federal government’s saying, “Well, we passed these laws,” but guess what? We’re not enforcing a single one of them. And you guys can’t protect yourself. And that’s really what they’re saying: “You guys take all the hits, you take all the murders, the human trafficking, the drug deaths. You can’t stop it. And we’re not going to let you.”
Allen: So, given the current situation on the ground, should Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas be impeached?
Paxton: Absolutely. He’s violating his constitutional role. He’s lying to us every day. He doesn’t tell the truth about anything. First, they tried to deny for the last two years there was a crisis. Now, they’re like finally saying, “OK, yeah, we got a problem.” And yet their solution is to just create more opportunities for illegal immigration. And he is a pathetic leader. He is there to destroy our immigration system. And he mocks us every day when he lies to us and says there’s no problem, that he’s doing his job.
Allen: Thank you so much, Attorney General, for your time. We really appreciate it. Any final words before we let you go?
Paxton: No. This is a really important issue. It’s not just an immigration issue. This is a Constitutional issue as to whether we’re going to have a voice, you as a citizen of this country have a voice. And if the government, if the Biden administration, if Joe Biden can just say, “Sorry, I do this. I don’t care what you say. We’re doing our own thing here, and sue us.” And that’s what he’s doing. And if we don’t win this fight, we don’t preserve freedom.
Allen: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Attorney General, thank you for your time.
Paxton: Hey, thank you.
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Author: Virginia Allen