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CNN anchorman Jim Acosta singularly questioned U.S. immigration policy this weekend when he interviewed Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Acosta noted to Mayorkas on Sunday that America has welcomed at least 50,000 Afghans who aided the U.S. war effort in their homeland, but is sending back Haitian refugees.
“We’re welcoming Afghans, but we’re sending Haitians back. Is there a contradiction there?” Acosta asked, as reported by Newsweek.
“Not at all,” replied Mayorkas, the first Latino and first immigrant confirmed to serve as Homeland Security secretary. “Those two processes are quite different. We are bringing in Afghan nationals by air after they have been screened and vetted. That is a safe, orderly and humane process.”
“That is quite different,” he contended, “than irregular migration, illegal entry in between ports of entry in a time of pandemic when we have been quite clear, explicit, for months now that that is not the way to reach the United States. And it will not succeed.”
President Joe Biden‘s administration is ramping up the deportation of Haitians, with increased flights leaving Del Rio, Texas. Associated Press is reporting up to eight flights a day will depart to send migrants back to the Caribbean nation struggling with natural disasters and political turmoil.
Mayorkas confirmed he will be traveling to Del Rio, where thousands of Haitian migrants are camping, to assess the situation.
The Afghan refugees coming to our shores aided the U.S. war effort, Mayorkas explained.
“This is who we are as a country. We stand up for the people who stood up for us,” he maintained. “We are providing refuge to individuals who assisted us in combat in Afghanistan. We are providing refuge to vulnerable women, journalists, young kids.”
“This is one of our greatest traditions as a country,” Mayorkas told Acosta. “We have committed relief to those individuals, and we are delivering it. And we are delivering it while securing the safety of the American public.”
Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley recently said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Will Bunch, “That ICE [the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] would continue to carry out the mass deportations of our Haitian neighbors — with Haiti in the midst of its worst political, public health and economic crises yet — is cruel and callous.”
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