Maria Bartiromo on Haitian refugees: “These people are not refugees”

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Citation From the September 27, 2021, edition of Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria Bartiromo

MARIA BARTIROMO (FOX BUSINESS ANCHOR): Welcome back. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas yesterday admitting that more than 12,000 Haitian migrants coming through Del Rio have been released into the United States. The number expected to grow as another 5,000 are waiting to be processed. Joining me right now is Real Clear Politics co-founder and President Tom Bevan. Tom, it's great to have you this morning. Thanks very much for being here. It was a stunning admission that he said, look, we've been watching these 17,000 people under that Del Rio bridge for now a week, and suddenly all those people are gone. People were thinking, where did they go? Were they sent back to Haiti, were they sent to wait in Mexico? And then he admits yesterday that, in fact, 12,000 of the 17,000 have been released into the United States. We don't know what cities. We don't know where, but they are here, likely to stay. Your thoughts?

TOM BEVAN: Yeah, it was a stunning admission and the administration was asked these questions at the end of last week because it had become apparent that the math wasn't adding up. Right. They deported, I think, about 1,500 or 2,000 on flights back to Haiti. But that camp was shrinking and everyone was asking and we couldn't get a straight answer from the White House. Jen Psaki wouldn't answer that question from the podium. And now eventually we know exactly what happened, which is almost all of those folks, 90 plus percent of them were released in the United States with NTAs notices, notice to appear, meaning that they will at some point, you know, based on their you know, the honor system will show up before a court to go through the immigration process, the asylum process, whatever. But you're right, pretty stunning admission. And I think it highlights the problem that the Biden administration has on this issue, even just deporting the 1,500 or 2,000 got them enormous blowback from the left wing of their party, saying that they were worse than the Trump administration, et cetera, et cetera. So it's – releasing these folks in the United States is not a policy that's going to be popular broadly with the American people. But at the same time, any sort of immigration pushback from the administration just gets them a whole bunch of blowback from their left wing.

BARTIROMO: Well, you know, it's pretty extraordinary. I mean, these people are not refugees, they're not running from, you know, upset or, you know, danger to come to the United States. They've been waiting in Mexico and other places to come when they felt the time was right. And so this notice to appear, Tom, they may very well not go back to go see a judge. Right. Then they just fade into the country. So what do you think the motivation is on this administration to just, you know, get 12,000 people? Then this is just one area. We know that 200,000 people are coming into the bush, coming across the border every month. But what's the motivation to get all of these people to jump the line? I mean, after all, we have a legal immigration system in place where we issue one million green cards a year.

TOM BEVAN: Right, but listen, this is where the Democratic Party is, I mean, think back, Maria, to the Democratic primary. You had 11 or 12 folks on stage all raising their hand, saying that they wanted to give health care benefits to illegal immigrants, all raising their hand to say – I mean, Julian Castro said and many in his party agree with him, that he wanted to decriminalize border crossings, that he did not want this to be seen as a crime. And so that's where the Democratic Party is on the issue. It is vastly, I think, to the left of where the American people are on the issue. And certainly, there's a yawning gap between where the Republican Party is. And so the motivation is simply that's what they believe. That's the policy that they're executing based on their on their belief system. The question is whether they will pay a price at the ballot box for it.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, for sure, for sure, and do you think they will?

BEVAN: I do think they will actually I think this is a – I mean, if you look what happened in 2020 when Trump won all of those counties around the board, Hispanic majority counties, and everyone said because he had closed the border, that he wasn't going to do well with Hispanics, he actually did 17 points better with Hispanics, particularly working-class Hispanics, than he did in 2016. I think Republicans would be wise to sort of follow his path in terms of holding onto those gains at the border. I think Democrats are going to help them do that.

BARTIROMO: All right, let's get on to the big week that it is this week in Washington, the Senate voting today on a temporary funding measure.