Biden raised alarm bells by announcing his choice of Alejandro Mayorkas—a radical Latino immigrant who formerly served as US Attorney in central California—to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Mayorkas was on record denouncing many of Trump’s signature immigration policies, some of which took years to implement following sustained court challenges from open-border activists.
Biden has also pledged in the past that his immigration agenda would be aggressive: He said he would end deportations for his first 100 days, suspend construction on the southern border wall, reduce detention and work toward amnesty for all illegal immigrants.
Thus, several DHS officials said they were stunned when Biden recently announced he would not immediately seek to rescind Trump’s border policies, the Washington Examiner reported.
In fact, Biden has agreed to keep the “Remain in Mexico” program, which requires asylum-seekers at the southern border to stay in Mexico while they await appearances in U.S. immigration court, even though he previously vowed to end the program on his first day in office.
“My first response was this was, you know, a broken promise to the American people that I’m actually glad is happening,” acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday.
“If you walk back a network of policies and initiatives that have been implemented under the Trump administration, you will create a new crisis, you will create new pull factors, you will reincentivize individuals to come here illegally,” he said.
Another senior DHS official said Biden’s reluctance to walk back Trump’s policies is proof that “there are no easy decisions when it comes to immigration, because you always have to contend with reality.”
He agreed that it signaled the discrepancies between what worked on the campaign trail and what worked for effective leadership.
“The change in tone should be taken as a tacit acknowledgment that the dangers the Trump administration warned about are real and the messaging from Biden was only politicking,” the official added.