Elections 2022FederalImmigration & BorderSecretary Mayorkas Promises ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ Will Not Monitor Americans

The U.S. government has created a panel to push back against “disinformation” on border security and other issues.
May 2, 2022
Responding to criticisms about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new Disinformation Governance Board, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas promised on Sunday that the entity would not target American citizens.

He made the comments during an appearance on CNN.

Contending that the board is “precisely the opposite” of Orwellian, Mayorkas characterized it as a “small working group” in DHS and conceded that “we probably could have done a better job of communicating what it does and does not do.”

The secretary also claimed that the board is part of efforts that began under the Trump administration.

“The fact is that disinformation that creates a threat to the security of the homeland is our responsibility to address and this department has been addressing it for years,” Mayorkas said.

The Texan Tumbler

Mayorkas suggested that the board would not encroach on “civil rights and civil liberties” and would respect privacy.

“The board — this working group, internal working group — will draw from best practices and communicate those best practices to the operators because the board does not have operational authority,” Mayorkas said. 

He promised that American citizens would not be monitored and said efforts would be focused on threats such as foreign governments and criminal cartels.

The secretary called the board’s executive director, Nina Jankowicz, “eminently qualified” and said she is “absolutely” neutral from an ideological perspective.

Jankowicz has been criticized for labeling evidence against President Biden’s son, Hunter, as Russian disinformation. She has rebutted those criticisms by stating that she was merely “livetweeting” a presidential debate between Biden and Trump, not stating her own views.

Mayorkas originally announced the launch of the board in response to questions from Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) at a congressional hearing last week. Underwood had asked the secretary about “mis and disinformation” specifically targeting racial minorities.

When tens of thousands of illegal aliens poured into the Del Rio area last year, Mayorkas assigned blame in part to false information about the U.S. government’s policies concerning Haitian nationals.

The federal government had announced a deportation freeze for individuals from the Caribbean country, and had also extended temporary protected status to those who had arrived before a certain point during the summer.

Afterward, tens of thousands of mostly Haitian illegal aliens, many of whom had been waiting in Mexico, rushed to Val Verde County and deportations resumed shortly thereafter.

The Disinformation Governance Board, Mayorkas asserts, will help prevent similar disasters caused by human smugglers spreading falsehoods. The board’s aim is also to combat attempts by foreign governments such as Russia and China to spread misinformation prior to this year’s midterm elections.

Opponents of the Disinformation Governance Board contend it is dangerous for the government to be in the business of deciding what ought to be considered “disinformation.”

In a social media post, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) linked the Disinformation Governance Board to entrepreneur Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter.

“In the same week that we got good news for free speech with Elon Musk buying Twitter, the Biden administration launched a brazen attack on free speech by creating a Ministry of Truth headed up by someone who is no stranger to spreading disinformation,” Cruz tweeted on Monday.

Mayorkas is reportedly set to testify before Congress again this week regarding the Disinformation Governance Board.


Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."