Live from Music Row Friday 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 Tennessee Congressman (R) Chuck Fleishmann to the newsmakers line to discuss the incentivization of illegal immigration by the Biden administration and whether or not it was an impeachable offense.
Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by Congressman Chuck Fleishmann, who represents the Third Congressional District of Tennessee. Welcome, Congressman Fleishmann.
Fleishmann: Michael. Welcome. And I am joining you from the greatest mid-sized city in America. Chattanooga, Tennessee, and always glad to speak with you and our great friends in our outstanding state capital in Nashville sir.
Leahy: I like that phrase. The greatest midsize city in the country. Chattanooga is a delightful place. I go down there a couple of times a year and I really enjoy it. Very beautiful. And I’m glad to see you’re so proud of the city you represent.
Fleishmann: Well, thank you so much. Actually, I’m so proud of the state I represent, Michael. As you know, I’m a graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
I love Knoxville. I love Nashville. I love Memphis. But really, when I speak with world leaders and national leaders, Tennessee leads in so many categories because we just get it right.
We’re about small government, no state income tax, and we are a right-to-work state.
We get it done right in Tennessee. It makes my job a lot easier when I’m articulating my conservative message in Washington.
Leahy: You are about to take over my role as the unofficial ambassador to promote the state of Tennessee because I do that on my program.
I get people that are calling in from New York City, and I tell them at the end of our interviews, hey, we have no state income tax in Tennessee. When are you moving? (Chuckles) Most of them are tempted by it.
Fleishmann: There you go. We are one of nine states that don’t have a state income tax. But we’ve also made sure that we didn’t let these other taxes kind of creep in like some other jurisdictions did.
And I have fought against taxation, really, before my time in Congress. And if you remember years back, we fought very hard to make sure that Tennessee never had a state income tax.
Leahy: Oh, yes.
Fleishmann: Great Constitution. But yes sir.
Leahy: Now, let me ask you about a problem that you’ve been on top of, and it’s quite bothersome and that’s this Chattanooga Migration Center child abuse scandal.
Fill us in on what the Biden administration has done, sort of behind our backs and against the specific instructions of Governor Lee.
Fleishmann: Well, Michael, as you know, my role as the ranking member, the highest Republican on the Homeland Security Subcommittee of Appropriations, puts me right in the thick of this.
I worked hand in hand with former President Trump on this issue. And we had great success with the buffer policies. We had record low numbers of people coming across. We were apprehending them.
We were building the wall. When President Biden and his administration took over from day one, they took us in the wrong direction.
They incentivized illegal immigration and migration to this country. And each and every time they’ve had a chance to deal with it, they’ve made the wrong decision.
They’re wrong and they are oblivious to this. But this migrant situation in May, as a relevant member of Congress on the relevant committees, I found out about this on the news.
I saw it on the news as did my good friend Bill Hagerty and my good friend Senator Blackburn, our two great senators. And really, it was shocking.
So what did we say? This is going to cause more problems. And just a few weeks ago, it did. The state has shut down this migrant facility.
This should have never happened to begin with. When it did happen, I said there were no problems. And it’s just a multitude of problems now. It’s a humanitarian crisis.
It’s a cost to the American taxpayer and it’s a cost to the people of Tennessee. So Bill Lee is right on this and Marsha Blackburn is right on this.
Hagerty is right on this. I’m right on this. And Biden again, is wrong on this.
Leahy: Let me ask you a big question here. Are you ready for a little bit of a curveball? Here it comes.
Fleishmann: I got it. I’m a baseball player. I’m a baseball player on Tennessee’s congressional baseball team.
Leahy: Are you really? Did you play baseball in high school or in college?
Fleishmann: I played some in high school. I didn’t play in college because I wanted to get through in three years. But when I went Congress the day at a baseball team, I went out and I tried out, and I played in the 100 games about a decade ago.
And have a great picture of that which kind of went viral. But I still play. Darryl Levins is my batting coach.
Leahy: There you go.
Fleishmann: But yes sir. I’m ready for a curveball.
Leahy: Here’s the curveball. So here’s how I look at it, and I’m going to ask you a big question and see what your response is. I look at our immigration laws, and I look at the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, and it looks to me like not only is he not enforcing those laws, he’s doing the exact opposite of those laws.
He’s violating, in my view, his oath of office. Now he’s been confirmed by the Senate. To me, I think he has committed by violating our immigration laws.
I think he has committed impeachable offenses. Do you agree with me? And if you agree with me, would you propose articles of impeachment against Alejandro Mayorkas?
Fleishmann: The problem really lies with Joe Biden and the Biden administration. All of the other secretaries take their orders from the top.
And I don’t know where the top is taking their orders or direction from. I’ve said this from the inception that the Biden administration from the top, including Joe Biden, is rudderless and confused.
On immigration policy, he’s not rudderless and confused, he’s horrifically wrong and he’s hurting this country. But let me point to an example that proves what you said is correct.
We passed an appropriation bill, which the House, the Senate, and the president of the United States, former President Trump signed into law for fiscal 2021, which basically says roughly $2 billion will be used to construct a border wall.
President Biden refused to obey the laws that were on the books to build this, this year. He wanted to stop it. I want to be very clear about this.
It’s one of those things that he is so far off from what the American people want and has created such havoc on the border and this is going to be a crisis that is going to be felt by the American people for decades to come.
It’s a series of crises. So whether or not it’s impeachable or not, it’s just plain and simply wrong. They’re never going to really impeach them with Nancy Pelosi and the way the Senate is.
I stood strong against both fictitious attempts to impeach President Trump, which were ridiculous and wrong. I just want to fix this policy because it’s really hurting America.
Leahy: If the Republicans take over the House of Representatives in January 2023 and Mayorkas continues to violate immigration law and apparently you’re pointing at the top, which is very reasonable.
Biden would continue with that. Would that continued violation of the law by both Mayorkas and Biden? Would that be an impeachable offense in the next session?
Fleishmann: I think we would have to look at the specific conduct and or lack of conduct and apply the law to the facts. One of the horrible things and I felt so bad for our great former President Donald Trump when he was impeached the first time and then the second time was an out and out force that they tried to impeach him again.
The tool of impeachment was put there for our Founding Fathers to deal with a completely different set of circumstances.
I’m afraid now, regardless of party, we’re going to start seeing the use of the impeachment vehicle much more frequently. I don’t know if that is good for the Republic or not based on where things went.
But clearly, the Pelosi-led House degraded itself when it impeached President Trump twice. I want to be very careful with that. So we’ll wait and see.
I’m going to focus on doing my job and trying to make Biden and the American people realize the abject failure of the Biden administration in this key immigration situation.
It is crisis after crisis. It’s costing us money. It’s costing us national security and it’s got to be addressed.
Leahy: Thanks so much for joining us today and please come back again.
Fleishmann: Michael, keep selling the great state of Tennessee. We’ve got a great product, great people, and the best place in America to live.
Leahy: We are in total agreement. Thank you, Congressman Chuck Fleishmann.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 author and former acting director of ICE Tom Homan to the newsmakers line to discuss the motives of the Biden administration’s lack of law enforcement at the southern border and pending lawsuits.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmakers line by our good friend, former acting director of ICE under the Trump administration. And like me, a native of upstate New York. The man from Watertown, New York, Tom Homan.
Homan: Good morning sir.
Leahy: Well, Tom, I look at this disaster on the border over the past, what is it now? Almost going on six months. And my question to you is, is what Joe Biden doing, is what the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas is doing, violating the immigration laws of the United States, is that an impeachable offense in your mind?
Homan: I think it is. Their number one responsibility to protect this country and protect your sovereignty. And they have abdicated their responsibilities to secure our border.
They’re ignoring existing law. What they’re working really hard at, they’re making illegal immigration legal. They’ve already told ICE they can’t arrest anybody for just being in the country illegally.
They are releasing people at the border without any court date. And now they’re talking about and in the process of reinstating the CAM project, where people can apply for asylum in their home countries, and we will transport them at the taxpayers’ expense in the United States to reunite their families.
It’s at a point where I actually wait for they cannot believe where we’re at as a nation.
Leahy: Tom, what’s the solution to this problem?
Homan: You know, we can’t wait for 2022. I’m involved with several lawsuits. With the state of Texas, they’ve got five separate lawsuits filed against this administration. I’m a party to four of them.
I’ve written more affidavits, against the Biden administration than I’ve written in my entire career against criminals. (Inaudible talk) I’m a part of the Arizona lawsuit.
So I’ve been acting as an expert witness for a lot of the state attorneys general suing the Biden administration before and they’re doing exactly what you said they’re doing.
Not only are they ignoring the law, we believe they’re actually breaking laws. One of the lawsuits clearly says in the statute in Title Eight of the United States immigration law says that ICE shall detain those convicted of certain drug offenses, those who have final orders of removal from an immigration judge, and those who have committed crimes in perpetude.
It says I shall detain these people. They’re not detaining any of them. They’re releasing them. And I’m not blaming the ICE officers.
They’ve been put in a tough decision by this administration. They were given a memo basically saying that you can only use somebody in the United States for being here illegally if they have been convicted of a serious crime.
So for some, it’s almost like being in this country illegally isn’t illegal anymore? And they don’t think that serves as another enticement for cartels.
Look, we’ll get you to the border and we’ll get you in the country, you can even lose your case. And you win because no one’s looking to remove you.
This administration, I said many times, isn’t mismanagement. This is incompetence and by design. This is what the border looks like.
Leahy: I think you are right. I think it is by design. Let’s talk about this character, Alejandro Mayorkas. He seems to be perhaps one of the most practice liars I’ve ever seen.
In other words, he tries to set forward an explanation, couched in legal terms to explain why he’s violating the law. What’s your take on this guy?
Homan: I don’t recognize him anymore. When he was deputy secretary, I was third in command of ICE back in 2014, 2015.
We had a similar surge, not this big, but we had a surge. He knows what causes surges, and he knows how to stop them. I’ve had over 100 meetings with him.
Leahy: You’ve had over 100 meetings with Alejandro Mayorkas?
Homan: Yes. Back in ’14, ’15. And we stopped the surge. How did we do it? We built detention facilities with over 3,000 family beds. 3,000 beds.
We tell people long enough to see a judge. And when a judge order to remove which 90 percent would be able to removed, we removed them.
The numbers went down. He’s doing the complete opposite of what he knows works. They are not detaining them and they are working as quickly as they can to release them as fast as they can.
They’re being released without a court date. And we can’t remove them because ICE can’t remove someone for just being here illegally anymore.
He’s done the complete opposite of what we did in ’14, ’15 when he was a Deputy Secretary on how to stop this surge. That’s what I’m saying. This is by design. He knows how to stop this. He just won’t take the steps.
Leahy: Would you say Mayorkas is a highly intelligent man?
Homan: He was a US attorney. He’s an attorney by trade. He’s not a stupid man at all. What he’s doing with these open borders is he sold out to the progressive left, just like Joe Biden did.
And they’re running that an open borders agenda and he is facilitating it. Here’s a sad thing. I’m 59 years old. We have the first president in the history of my life and I’ve been in immigration law for 35 years, and the first Secretary ever that is actively facilitating illegals entering this country. Actively facilitating cross-border crime.
Leahy: Now, let me ask you about this. What’s the motive here? In your view? You react to what really is right. You probably don’t look at motive that much.
But I look at this and I say, okay, who’s behind this? Is this Biden’s desire? Is it Mayorkas’s desire? What are they trying to accomplish?
Homan: In my opinion, the open border advocates have control of the White House.
I know for a fact, a lady by the name of Esther Olavarria is working at the White House as a senior policy advisor who is an immigration activist out of Miami.
She and people like her have hijacked this administration. Like I said before, Biden sold himself out to win the progressive left. He knew it was important for him to get the votes from the progressives to become president.
So he sold out just to become president. And I think about this all the time. What could actually benefit? Here is who benefits. All these people come across the border, millions of them are going to sanctuary cities.
What happens then? Well, Biden also overturned the Trump census, which means then I’ll be counting the next census. But what’s that equal?
It equals more seats in the House for the Democrats which leads to the Electoral College. They’re offering amnesty to millions of people.
They think they’re future Democratic voters. This is about Democrats set the stage playing the long game for perpetual power.
And I’ve met with 20 Republican congressmen out in Texas about a month ago, and I told them, you guys need to pull your head out of your butt and pay attention to what’s going on.
Leahy: You didn’t say butt, I’m pretty sure I did.
Homan: No I didn’t. I said, maybe you don’t care, but you won’t win another election in 15 years if you don’t wake up. The Democrats are playing the long game and you’re ignoring it.
Leahy: Yeah, I think that’s it. Let me ask you this. Mayorkas. Now you’ve been in with him. He’s an interesting fellow to me. I think he’s very, very clever, but totally amoral in my view.
I’ve never met him. But you said you’ve been in hundreds of meetings with him. Is this like a one on one meeting you’ve been in? Or meetings with like 500 other people?
Homan: Mainly one on one meetings and many group meetings. And I would tell them how do we ran into this surge in ’14, ’15 and what we need to do to stop it.
And Jeh Johnson listened to us. And they did it. Listen, Jeh Johnson when he was Secretary and Mayorkas was deputy, we built with their approval 3,000 family beds.
You never see them do that today. And the so-called cages and what everybody is screaming about and said that Trump built, no, those were built when Alexander Mayorkas was Deputy Secretary.
That’s why I’m saying he’s doing the complete opposite of what he knows works. This isn’t an accident. He is not the same man he was back then.
He believed in border security. He let us do things to stop the surge. You can’t name one thing. You can’t name one single thing they have done to slow the flow or to add a consequence and returns.
They just keep making things easier. They stood out on the national stage a month ago saying, hey, look, there is no overcrowding border trouble cities.
We’re processing these quick kids quickly and getting them out. That’s a success. You may call it a success, but I call it a failure.
Because the quicker you release people and brag about it, the more they’re going to come because they know they won’t be detained.
Leahy: Yeah, that’s my sense. You were an acting director of ICE for a period of time. What’s morale in ICE like?
Homan: It’s never been this bad in the history of the agency. I mean, last month, you said the lowest number of arrests in the history of the agency.
At the same time, we have a record number of people coming to that border and entering illegally. The lowest number of arrests.
They’re not allowed to do their job. And I said before, and I mean, this is I can put in one sentence. An immigration agent or a law enforcement officer can no longer arrest somebody from being in the country illegally.
An illegal alien gang member can walk up to an ICE agent today and say, I’m here illegally. I was ordered to be removed by an immigration judge last year.
I didn’t go. What are you going to do about it? The answer is, they can’t do a thing about it. They can’t arrest them. This is where we’re at as a nation.
The men and women of Border Patrol and of ICE truly feel the President United States has abandoned them. They truly feel that they don’t support them. The Secretary or the President or the Vice President won’t even admit there’s a crisis on the border.
Listen to the full first hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.