Ex-DHS chief Wolf accuses Biden admin of ‘crisis by design’ at the border, calls for new leadership

FIRST ON FOX: The former acting head of the Department of Homeland Security will today rip into the Biden administration's handling of the ongoing crisis at the southern border, accusing the administration of a "crisis by design" at the border, and calling for new leadership at the Department of Homeland Security

Chad Wolf, who served as acting DHS secretary during the Trump administration and oversaw the implementation of a number of key Trump-era policies, will speak at the House Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee hearing on the ongoing crisis at the border.

The hearing will ask "Is the law being faithfully executed" and Wolf will tell lawmakers that "the answer, by any objective measure or metric is a resounding no."


"Today’s border security system is unrecognizable from the America First policies of the Trump Administration or even what was in place during the administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama," Wolf will say in prepared remarks obtained by Fox News Digital. "In all candor, the Biden administration is the first administration of either political party to deliberately take steps to diminish the security along our southern border." 

"Therefore, it is my opinion that new leadership is needed at DHS," Wolf, now the executive director at the America First Policy Institute, will tell the committee.

Wolf joins a chorus of voices on the right who have called for the removal -- and potentially the impeachment -- of Mayorkas, who has come under heavy fire for his handling of the border crisis now deep into its third year.

The border has seen a historic number of migrant encounters at the border since the administration took office. The historic 1.7 million encounters in FY2021 was subsequently dwarfed in FY 2022 when there were more than 2.3 million encounters.

Numbers have hit records in FY 2023, when there were over 250,000 migrant encounters in a single month in December. There was a surge ahead of the end of Title 42 in May, with over 10,000 encounters a day, but numbers have dropped sharply by as much as 70% since the order ended.

The administration has said that a recent drop in encounters since Title 42 ended on May 11, and in some of the months before that, shows that the policies it is implementing are working. Those policies focus on expanding lawful pathways including a controversial use of parole, coupled with shifting to traditional Title 8 penalties for illegal crossings and a new asylum rule which limits claims for those who cross illegally and who have not claimed asylum in other countries through which they traveled.


"The administration’s plan is working as intended," DHS said in a statement this week. "We are cognizant, however, that the conditions in the hemisphere that are driving unprecedented movements of people are still present and that the cartels and coyotes will continue to spread disinformation about any potential changes to policies at the border in order to put migrants’ lives at risk for profit. We will remain vigilant and continue to execute our plan, making adjustments where needed."

Separately, Mayorkas has repeated the administration's calls for Congress to provide additional funding and to pass legislation to fix what he calls a "broken" immigration system.

But conservative and Republican critics have blamed the longer-term crisis on the administration’s expanded use of "catch-and-release," which had been curtailed sharply during the Trump administration with policies that have since been reversed by the Biden administration. Additionally, critics have pointed to the Biden administration’s reduced interior immigration enforcement, the end of border wall construction, and have questioned the legality of the use of parole in expanded pathways it has put into place. Wolf argues that the expanded pathways are only "a diversion of illegal aliens from between ports of entry to the ports of entry."

In his remarks, Wolf will contrast the Biden administration’s approach with the Trump administration’s approach, arguing that the prior administration secured the border, deterred illegal immigration, enforced the law and disrupted cartels.

"In stark contrast, today we see a border in chaos and crisis because the Biden administration ideologically and arbitrarily dismantled all of these proven policies," he will say. "Recommendations and concerns by Career Border Patrol experts were ignored and political correctness and rank ideology supplanted common sense and adherence to our immigration laws." 


"To be clear -- the laws didn’t change between administrations – just the decision by the Biden administration not to follow those laws. They embraced destructive and unlawful policies that have made American communities dangerous and enriched the Mexican drug cartels," Wolf says.

Wolf notes statistics showing that 4.5 million migrants -- including 1.5 million "gotaways" -- have arrived in the country, a number bigger than every major U.S. city except New York City. He also challenges the claim by the Biden administration that its new process is "safe orderly and humane."

"But to whom exactly? Not to the migrants abused, extorted, or dying along the journey; not to American communities that have been overrun by this influx of illegal aliens and lethal fentanyl; and not to Border Patrol officers who have been assaulted and have pleaded with political leadership to solve this crisis," he says. "Instead, the process that has been created over the last two years can be more accurately described as dangerous, corrupt, and inhumane."

He goes on to say that the administration has failed to adhere to the DHS mission of securing the homeland and protecting its citizens.

"But the Biden Administration has not adhered to the DHS mission and eroded our institutions and ignored the rule of law. These policies are unlawful and this is a crisis by design," he says.