Live from Music Row Wednesday 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 the Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst Patrice Onwuka to the newsmakers line to discuss her recent piece on Kamala Harris’s photo op and a short visit to El Paso while avoiding the real crisis at the Rio Grande Valley area.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by our very good friend Patrice Onwuka with the Independent Women’s Forum. Good morning, Patrice.
Onwuka: Good morning, Michael. How are you today?
Leahy: Well, I just thought that the topic that you wrote about recently was funny to me.
Onwuka: Oh boy.
Leahy: Because Kamala Harris went down to the border kind of sort of for a photo op at the airport I think. How long was she at the border in El Paso, which is not the center of the problem?
Onwuka: She ended up staying a few hours, in addition to meeting some Border Patrol agents at a facility. I believe she also sat down with some local religious leaders.
I pegged her time originally at about two hours. She may have saved three or four. But certainly not enough time and definitely not in the right place to see the actual surge in migrants and surge in illicit drugs and other illegal activity going on at the southern border.
Leahy: Nothing says border control like meeting with religious leaders right? (Laughs) I mean, look, I love having conversations with religious leaders about issues of religion, but why, when she goes to the border, does she meet with religious leaders? Are they involved with the enforcement of our immigration laws?
Onwuka: I believe maybe some of them are involved with housing or providing services (Inaudible talk) and other service providers.
And listen, I love our civic community, religious community groups they are important. But I think even more important is actually going to the areas of the border where that is not an actual port of entry (Chuckles) where the people who are coming across are not doing so legally.
But actually going to to the areas where it’s actually worse where you’re seeing the smugglers, the coyotes dropping little kids in the middle of the night, and open fields where you’re seeing many groups of migrants distracting Border Patrol agents while drug smugglers are running fentanyl across our borders.
And by the way, that heads northeast, and west to every part of our country. I get that she wants to deal with the core issues and she wants to get to the root of the problem, but she also needs to deal with the immediate impact, and she’s not doing that.
Leahy: Well, I can tell her exactly how to get to the root of the problem. Are you ready? She needs to go and stand next to Joe Biden and then put a mirror up and look at those two people. Right? That’s the core of the problem, in my view.
Onwuka: Let’s go back to day one of the Biden administration in their haste to undo every Trump policy, particularly on immigration. They reversed some really powerful policies that were in place that were stemming the flow of migrants and forcing people, shocker, to apply for asylum in the nearest country of sanctuary instead of skipping three or four countries that want to apply for asylum at the closest safe place to you. But things like that were changed. And as a result, we’ve seen the signal going out to Central America and the rest of the countries. The policies have changed. Come on in now. The cartels have exploited this policy change to again recruit people who want to come to this country for whatever reason, I understand. But they’re exploiting the situation. The drug cartels are exploiting it for their own nefarious purposes. And we have an administration that is intentionally sticking its head in the sand because it doesn’t want to disrupt the very far left of its party and its wing who think that we should actually have no borders. And who are frankly, oh, happy to allowing as many people that want to be, with no regard for who they are, why they’re coming and where they’re going to go.
Leahy: Well, let me ask you this. You say that the Biden administration is intentionally “sticking their head in the sand.” Now you’re being, I think, generous to them.
You’re kind of saying it’s a little bit, it’s really incompetence. Is it incompetence or is it an intentional violation of American immigration law?
Onwuka: It’s intentional. Incompetence would be to say, well, let’s try something different and we get a different outcome. No.
We’ve seen for the past, probably five or six months now, the rise that it’s hitting. A 20 year high for illegal border crossings. When it hits the high one month that may be incompetence.
Beyond that, that is intentional. It’s undermining our immigration system and our immigration laws, which, yes, they can be fixed.
And our system is pretty broken. But we have a system and we have laws in place. And if you want Congress to fix it well work with Congress to do so.
But this is what happens when we have executive orders from Republican and Democratic presidents that can be undone by the next administration.
For folks out there, this is just the beginning. We are hearing that the White House is ready to overturn Title 42. What is Title 42 you ask?
It was a measure that was put in place under the Trump administration last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. In essence, individuals coming by themselves would be turned away at our southern border just for health and safety reasons.
That is going to end because there have been activist groups pushing the Biden administration calling Title 42 somehow uncompassionate and heartless.
Now what you’re going to see is a rise of people, families, family units, young people coming unaccompanied and single individuals who had been turned away at the border.
Now they’re going to be able to come and gain illegal entry. I had the privilege of being on a television network yesterday where I got to ask Tom Homan, who is a former head of the Southern Border Patrol, about this issue.
And he absolutely said, Patrice, you’re 100 percent right. We haven’t seen anything yet when it comes to what’s going to happen once Title 42 is overturned or reverse. And we’re expecting the Biden administration to do that any day now.
Leahy: Any day now. By the way, I think you point out in your column that El Paso is not exactly the hotspot for illegal entry into the United States. That’s what, 800 miles away in the Rio Grande Valley?
Onwuka: It is. El Paso is actually a port of entry, meaning that it’s guarded. It’s a place where you actually have to go in there and we know who you are.
We know why you’re coming. So what you’re not seeing are a lot of illegal entries there. You’re also not seeing the apprehension of, let’s say, fentanyl or illicit illegal drugs and guns coming through our port of entry.
Not surprising, right? Where it is going on is 800 miles away in the Rio Grande Valley area. This is where you’re having migrants dying in the Rio Grande trying to cross that river to get into the United States.
This is where we’re seeing the heartbreaking video of young people, babies, kids dropped over the border wall, left in the middle of the night by themselves by smugglers who are simply using these individuals as distractions to the border agents.
While the border agents are trying to take care of a little baby or taking care of a group of migrants these drug cartels are running fentanyl across our border.
They’re running drugs and other types of drugs and guns across our border. Now, for them, it’s a fantastic money-making enterprise that the Biden administration has allowed them to tap into.
Where I would have loved to have seen Vice President Kamala Harris go to is that area so that she could see not just the detention center, but see exactly what our border agents are being overrun overworked and what’s happening there so that they could figure out okay.
We do need to change our policies. We do need to work with Congress for a long-term solution. But it’s wonderful when you go to a place where it’s nice and easy and there’s a photo op, then you can pat yourself on the back and say that the crisis is under control, when, in fact, it is not.
Leahy: Patrice, what do you make of this character, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas? Every time you turn around, my impression of the guy is he’s a smart guy who is using legal ease to defend the flouting of American immigration law, which is a convention of his oath of office.
He’s the guy you write about. He’s the guy that picked El Paso as the place for Kamala Harris to visit. What do you make of this guy?
Onwuka: Well, he was put in place for a good reason, which is, he is smart. He looks great on television. He seems measured, seems calm, and seems like he’ll have things under control. But really, he’s just doing the bit of his bosses and trying to advance their agenda on immigration.
So you may be a sweet talker. You may seem smart, but if you are again flouting the law, or if your policies are directly responsible for the rise in illegal entries, the rise in people coming into the United States, I don’t think you’re doing your job.
You’re not doing a good service to the American people. And really, that’s who you work for. The American people. Not just the president, not just the vice president.
Listen to the full first hour here:
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