During a recent hearing, Biden Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas refused to accede to GOP calls for the deportation of foreign nationals, particularly foreign students, who have protested in support of Hamas and against Israel in recent weeks.
That response to those calls came during a Senate showdown with pro-MAGA Senator Josh Hawley, who pressed him on the matter and demanded to know how he plans to keep America safe from those threats posed by supporters of terrorism, if not outright terrorists, within the United States.
Sen. Hawley introduced the question by asking, “My question to you is, should students who are here on a visa who gather and chant [from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free] and advocate for the elimination of Israel and attacks on Jewish individuals — whether in the Middle East or here in the United States, which we’re seeing on college campuses — should those students have their visas revoked?”
Continuing, Mayorkas recited the law without describing how he plans on dutifully carrying it out, saying, “Senator, I believe you are referencing a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act about which you have written to me and I am very familiar with your assertion that the statutory provision requires the revocation of their visas.”
Sen. Hawley pressed, asking, “Should they have their visas revoked? I’m asking you.” Secretary Mayorkas again refused to give an answer, saying, “We are assessing your legal assertion. It is a matter of legal interpretation of the statute.”
Hawley put the significance of the question in plainer terms, asking, “Well, just as a moral matter, should students who are here — foreigners who are here in this country — accessing our university system and advocating for the killing of Jews, should they be allowed to stay here at our leisure?”
Still Mayorkas refused to say what he thinks about those supporting terror, instead saying, “Senator, it is a matter of law and it requires a legal interpretation and I am not in a position to provide that legal interpretation. And let me add something–” Hawley, firing back, snapped, “My time is very limited. I think your answer is disappointing.”
Watch their back and forth here:
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) presses Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on an immigration officer's anti-Israel social media posts. Sec. Mayorkas says Sen. Hawley's questions are out of line, claiming that the employee's posts are not emblematic of the 260,000 DHS employees. pic.twitter.com/6jm2MsYVn5
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 31, 2023
White House Press Secretary John Kirby, when asked about the same issue during a press briefing, said, “That — I — I would just tell you — I would just tell you that you don’t have to agree with every sentiment that is expressed in a free country like this to — to stand by the — the idea — the First Amendment and the idea of peaceful protest. I’ll leave it at that.”
That wasn’t the only thing Secretary Mayorkas was pressed on during the hearing. When questioned by Sen. Marshall of Kansas over how many illegal aliens got away from law enforcement last year alone, he admitted, “I believe, senator, that number is over 600,000, and as I’m sure you’re well aware the phenomenon of gotaways has been a challenge for the Department of Homeland Security for decades.”
For reference, fiscal year 2023 has been even more of a disaster than fiscal 2022 in terms of illegal immigration, as over 2.4 million migrants were encountered by CBP in the fiscal year, including 269,000 in September, a record. CBP released over 900,000 of the migrants it encountered.
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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