Mayorkas issued the warning Tuesday to residents of Cuba, as well as Haiti, where the government in Port-au-Prince has been destabilized by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
“The time is never right to attempt migration by sea,” Mayorkas said at a press conference. “To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking… Allow me to be clear. If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” he added.
Mayorkas said refugees would either be returned or if they were found to have a fear of persecution, referred to a third country. The island is only 90 miles from the “Southernmost Point in the US” marker at the end of Whitehead Street in Key West.
Meanwhile, at the U.S.’ land border with Mexico, the illegal immigration and refugee crisis continues to worse, Pirro said on “The Five.”
“Mayorkas himself is Cuban,” Pirro noted. “For [Mayorkas] to say if you take to sea you will not come to the U.S…. so we are going to open the southern border … but when you are a victim of a totalitarian government or Communist regime that is shooting people and arresting journalists… we are going to make sure you don’t make it to America, because you truly have a true argument for political asylum.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Mayorkas said DHS stands “in solidarity [with] the Cuban people & their call for freedom from the repression [and] economic suffering that Cuba’s authoritarian regime is causing.”
Pirro said Mayorkas’ behavior has been an “outrage” and that he lost most of his credibility on the refugee and illegal immigration issue, given the fact he has claimed the Mexican border is closed, despite data showing the opposite.
“And this is an outrage to the people of Cuba, they know if they come from Cuba they will probably vote Republican, so they’ve got to stop them from coming in,” the former Westchester County, N.Y. district attorney argued.
Several prominent U.S. lawmakers of Cuban descent – including Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., Alex X. Mooney, R-W.V., and Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., – are Republicans. However, there are also prominent Democrats in that category including Mayorkas and New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez.
According to the Miami Herald, Cuban-Americans came out strongly for President Donald Trump in 2020, especially in South Florida.
Jesse Watters went on to note that Mayorkas’ parents fled Cuba shortly after the late dictator Fidel Castro came to power upon the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista, which occurred in 1959.
“The White House is basically saying, if you’re going to vote Democrat you can come here illegally but if you’re going to vote Republican don’t come because we do know that Cuban-Americans overwhelmingly vote Republican especially in a swing state of Florida,” said Watters.
The “Watters’ World” host went on to note that Mayorkas and President Biden have offered constant support in the form of legal counsel or a bus or plane ticket to people coming across the Rio Grande into Texas, but have an apparently opposite message for those fleeing Cuba.
Further, host Dana Perino remarked that if Cubans were fleeing to the United States because of climate change, they would likely be welcomed more than they would be currently while under the oppression of Communism.
In Cuba on Tuesday, security forces under strongman President Miguel Diaz-Canel – the successor to Castro’s younger brother Raul – appeared to have arrested an activist in the middle of a news interview, while other reports surfaced of detained demonstrators going missing.
“This is a different situation than what’s happening on our border, these people are fleeing totalitarianism and risking their lives going across an ocean, there’s no drug cartels involved, no people just coming over here for work and then leaving, there aren’t,” added “The Five” co-host Greg Gutfeld.
“These are people that are trying to escape — and I would be interested in an investigation into the root causes,” he added, noting Vice President Kamala Harris’ buzzword for similar issues.
“Perhaps they can send Kamala to Cuba.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.