Live from Washington, D.C. Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed former Acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf to the microphone to discuss the crisis at the southern border and raising awareness through the America First Policy Institute.
Leahy: We are delighted now to welcome to our microphones, Chad Wolf, the former acting secretary of Homeland Security. Chad, you and I have something in common. You’re from Plano, Texas. My wife is a Texan, and our in-laws live in Frisco.
Wolf: Oh, there you go. Right around the corner.
Leahy: My big question for you is, are you still playing tennis? You got a college scholarship to play tennis. Do you still play tennis? It looks like you could do pretty well.
Wolf: And I do. I do. That’s a game that you always carry with you. So still play a little tennis from time to time.
Leahy: Acting secretary of Homeland Security. That’s a big job.
Wolf: It certainly was. It was certainly an honor of a lifetime to have President Trump put his faith in me to do that job. I was at the department for all four years of the administration but did that particular job for the last 13 or 14 months of the administration.
Leahy: From November 2019 until really in January. Now, let me ask you this. Your successor, Alejandro Mayorkas, is he the biggest liar you’ve ever known? And is he intentionally destroying our immigration law?
Wolf: I certainly have some issues with some of the language that he uses. It’s not precise. It’s not nearly as precise as I would have talked about the system and the crisis and the issues that are going on.
I think he’s not been honest with the American people when he talks about how the border is closed or the border is secure when you have 200,000 illegal apprehensions just in the month of August alone.
And you release 12,000 of the 14,000 Haitians that were under that bridge in Del Rio. Clearly, the border is not closed. And the traffickers, the smugglers, and the cartels, they know that, which is why you have another caravan of upwards of 20,000 folks coming to the border.
If the border is closed, they’re not coming. They’re not risking their lives. They’re not risking their livelihood and all that they own to make it to that border. They’re only making that trek because the border is open.
Leahy: This is an intentional policy of the Biden administration and Alejandro Mayorkas. Would you agree with that?
Wolf: It absolutely is. Again, I think they have a different view of border security and immigration enforcement. I should say what started with us in the Trump administration with the rule of law, which is why we have a sovereign border.
And anyone who chooses to illegally enter the country needs to be held accountable for that. Whereas I believe this administration says anyone who wants to come into the country, come on in.
Leahy: But we have laws that prohibit that.
Wolf: And we’ll figure it out after you get here. We absolutely have laws in there that are not being enforced at the end of the day.
Leahy: The failure to enforce immigration laws by the Biden maladministration and by the current Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandra Mayorkas. Is this an impeachable offense for both Biden and Mayorkas?
Wolf: I think it certainly gets there at some point. You have to continue to look at the catastrophic nature of the crisis that’s going on at our southern border. And a lot of people will say we have the highest number in 20 years.
Why do I agree with that? I’d say that this is the worst border crisis that we have ever experienced in modern times. If you really look at the flow of individuals, it’s not single adults from Mexico, like we saw in 2000, 2001.
These are family units. These are minors, which are very difficult to remove, which puts a greater strain on our system. And I think that’s the issue that we’re dealing with.
As they continue to ignore laws and continue to release people, they’re very smart in the sense of they do it within the contours of the law because the law gives DHS and other departments a lot of discretion.
Leahy: You say, within the contours of the law, you know, just looking at it and not being an expert on this, it looks to me like a complete violation of the law. Explain to me what these contours are that they’re able to hang on to.
Wolf: Let’s just take the Haitians and the vast majority of folks that come in every single day filing asylum or claiming asylum. We look at data and we know that they will never qualify for asylum.
About 85 to 90 percent will not qualify for asylum. So what we did on the Trump administration is we put programs in place to address that, to root out that fraud. What the Biden administration is doing, and they can do it under the law is they allow these individuals to come into the country, claim asylum, and then they, “put them in removal proceedings.” (Leahy chuckles)
Now, removal proceedings is another term to say we’re going to put you into immigration court proceedings, which is you’re not going to see an immigration judge until about a year from now. So while removal proceedings sound good, you’re not removing these individuals. They have the right to do that under law.
Leahy: They do?
Wolf: I would say it’s the wrong approach. And that’s not the approach that we used in the Trump administration because there’s also authority that allows us to put a program like Remain in Mexico in place, which we did that actually roots out that fraud versus the catch and release system that you see today that actually encourages the fraud.
Leahy: Yeah, exactly. So these 15,000 Haitians that were under the bridge in Del Rio, almost all of them not coming directly from Haiti, but having lived years, according to a Just the News report in Brazil and Mexico and Chile.
By the way, Chip Roy, the congressman he had a report. He said he went to that gathering place beneath the bridge, and he saw all these abandoned ID cards from Brazil. You saw that?
Leahy: Just stunning.
Wolf: And again, if you’re the Biden administration, what you should be saying is, look, these folks are clearly abusing our asylum laws. Let’s do something about that. They’re not doing that.
Leahy: They don’t want to.
Wolf: They let them all in. They’ve let 12,000 into the country.
Leahy: Yes in the country, where are they, by the way?
Wolf: Well, we don’t know. But despite these individuals coming from places like Brazil and places in South America, if you resettle, if you’re Haitian and you resettle in a safe third country, you’re ineligible for asylum here in the United States.
Leahy: Very good points. So it’s all a mess. You’re with America First Policy Institute now?
Wolf: I am, yes.
Leahy: Last question. What are you doing there now? And do we have any hope of fixing this before then?
Wolf: That’s exactly what we’re doing we’re talking about it and we’re writing about some of the border security and immigration policies that should be implemented.
And we’re talking to people like you and on TV and elsewhere trying to get the message out that there’s another way to secure the border and bring some integrity back to the immigration system.
Leahy: And your chances of success on a one to ten scale? What are they?
Wolf: It’s going to be difficult at the federal level.
Leahy: I’ll agree with that.
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