President Joe Biden came into office with a clear desire to roll back as many of his predecessor’s immigration and border policies as possible.
Now, his administration is being accused of making exceptions to his open-borders agenda by denying safe harbor to Cubans and Haitians fleeing turmoil in their home countries.
“This risk is not worth taking”
Cuba has seen a marked increase in anti-communist protests and civil unrest in recent days and Haiti has slipped into chaos following the assassination of its president.
Nevertheless, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a clear warning on Tuesday that Cubans and Haitians seeking asylum in the U.S. and arriving by sea would be turned away. Those who establish a credible asylum claim would be resettled in a “safe third country” while the rest would be sent back to their native countries.
“Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Mayorkas said. “The time is never right to attempt migration by sea. To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking.”
The statement struck many critics as unusually strict considering the Biden administration’s willingness to open the nation’s southern border to undocumented immigrants.
For his part, Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson noted that the federal government is reportedly using the military to secretly transport undocumented immigrants throughout the country.
Mayorkas faces mounting backlash
Mayorkas, who happens to be the child of Cuban refugees, said that there is currently no “surge” of Cubans attempting to enter America by sea.
Statistics show that the number of Cubans crossing into the country by land is at its highest point in a decade, with most of them apparently being allowed to enter.
Nevertheless, a number of Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits complained that Biden’s policy is hypocritical and politically motivated.
Gun rights advocate Dana Loesch was among those who claimed that the White House hopes to exclude Cubans because they would likely vote for Republicans.
Although the Biden administration has signaled support for the anti-communist protesters in Cuba, GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the president to do more, such as making internet access available to dissidents in that nation who are being censored by the regime.