Cuccinelli: Blame Biden's Reversals, Not His Policies for Border Crisis Ken Cuccinelli, then-senior official performing the duties of the Deputy Homeland Security Secretary, testifies before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington, D.C. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 28 April 2021 12:59 PM
Border Patrol and other officials are overwhelmed at handling the crisis at the border, and it's not so much because of the policies President Joe Biden put into play when he took office, but more about the ones he took away that were already in place, Ken Cuccinelli, the former deputy secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, said Wednesday.
"His announcement that he would do that, including such very basic things as stopping or reducing dramatically the deportations back home of illegal aliens, when they know they'll be accepted here, why not come," Cuccinelli told Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo, who aired her show from the border in Texas.
The retraction of former President Donald Trump's remain in Mexico program, which mandated migrants wait in Mexico while their asylum status was being determined, is the main program whose loss is driving the migrant influx, Cuccinelli said
"If you go through the list, it was the number-one deterrent and operational program assisting stopping illegal immigration," said Cuccinelli.
In addition, Title 42 expulsions, which are removals by the U.S. government of people who were recently in a country where a communicable disease was present were an important deterrent after the coronavirus pandemic began, said Cuccinelli.
"It's not out of immigration law; it's out of public health law," said Cuccinelli. "What we did with that was even though we had a crisis level invasion going on, 2,000 people a day which seemed bad at the time, we were turning 85% and 90% of them back around to Mexico without ever coming into Border Patrol facilities."
That, he said, "helped protect our Border Patrol and it kept (migrants) out of the United States of America."
But now, with Biden, "we have this nanny state type of administration on the coronavirus for all Americans but not for illegal aliens," said Cuccinelli.
"They don't seem to care about the coronavirus," but still, the pandemic was the excuse Vice President Kamala Harris used in TV interviews for not coming to the border, he added.
"She's been vaccinated," Cuccinelli said. "It's ridiculous. It takes the idea of a double standard to new heights under this administration. The hypocrisy is unbelievable and it isn't happening in a vacuum. It's connected to other things, like the amnesty in the House and the voting bill where they will register to vote all these people as they come in contact with state databases."
Meanwhile, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, have introduced bipartisan legislation that calls for opening more regional centers that would screen and process asylum seekers in hopes of easing the border situation, and Cuccinelli said it is fine to seek more efficiency, "so long as you keep the legal standard."
However, he said the call for additional centers means "funding failure."
"There is nothing in the bill that I am aware of that forces the administration to actually enforce the law, actually deport illegal aliens, or reverse any of the reversing of the Trump policies," he said. "If you're just going to finance failure, all you do is make them bring illegals in faster rather than stopping them from coming in. So the basic concept of the bill is flawed. I hope they'll rethink it."