Sen. Josh Hawley grilled President Joe Biden’s nominee for attorney general, Merrick Garland, on Monday at his confirmation hearing regarding his view on whether crossing the border illegally should be a crime or not.
Garland deflected and avoided Hawley’s questions that involved how the Justice Department would enforce immigration law in regards to individuals crossing into the United States illegally if he were confirmed as its head.
Hawley’s intense scrutiny came towards the end of Garland’s first day of his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The senator cut to the chase immediately by asking Garland if he believed “illegal entry” into the country should remain a crime or not.
“I haven’t thought about that question. I just haven’t thought about that question,” Garland vaguely and haltingly responded. “I think the president has made clear that we are a country with borders and with a concern about national security. I don’t know if a proposal to decriminalize but still make it unlawful to re-enter. I just don’t know the answer to that question. I haven’t thought about it.”
(Video Credit: Forbes Breaking News)
President Biden has signed a number of executive orders that focus on undoing former President Trump’s immigration policies. They included withdrawing funding for the border wall among other things. Democrats are also floating a bill backed by Biden that would implement an 8-year path to citizenship plan for well over 11 million illegal immigrants.
Hawley would not let Garland go on the issue and asked him if he would “continue to prosecute unlawful border crossings” if he was confirmed as the next attorney general.
“This is, again, a question of allocation of resources,” Garland said, sidestepping the issue. “The department will prevent unlawful crossing. I don’t know. I have to admit, I just don’t know exactly what the conditions are and how this is done. I don’t know what the current program even is with respect to this. I assume the answer would be yes, but I don’t know what the issues surrounding it are.”
Hawley’s questioning came after Garland slammed Trump’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy earlier in his hearing. “I think that the policy was shameful. I can’t imagine anything worse than tearing parents from their children, and we will provide all the cooperation that we possibly can,” Garland emphatically stated.
Hawley also questioned Garland about whether he thought the Antifa and Black Lives Matter attacks on a courthouse in Portland were “domestic terrorism” or not, and Garland confusingly stated that he might not… because those attacks happened at night.
“So, an attack on a courthouse while in operation — trying to prevent judges from actually deciding cases, that plainly is domestic extremism, uh uh um…domestic terrorism. An attack simply on a government property at night, or under any other kind of circumstances, is a clear crime and a serious one, and should be punished,” Garland stumbled as he attempted to address the issue. “That’s where I draw the line. One is, uh, both are criminal, um uh, but one is a core attack on our democratic institutions.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) proclaimed that Garland’s non-answer on illegal border crossings should disqualify him from office.
“Every single part of this response should disqualify Merrick Garland from being Attorney General of the United States of America,” she tweeted.
Response to the waffling by Garland on social media was swift and brutal.
Today, Merrick Garland:
—Refused to say if men should play in women's sports
—Refused to say illegal border crossings should remain a crime
—Refused to say ANTIFA engaged in domestic terrorism in Portland
Don't let the media lie to you, Biden's pick for AG is NOT a moderate.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 23, 2021
Does #MerrickGarland not get that burning down a courthouse at night prevents its function during business hours the next day?
Or that illegal immigration is illegal?
I had to sleep on the enormity of his answers.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 23, 2021
Merrick Garland is the Fauci of the DOJ.
— Rising serpent 🇺🇸 (@rising_serpent) February 23, 2021
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