Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, claimed Tuesday that the southern border is “secure” despite the fact that Border Patrol agents face historic numbers of migrant workers.
Mayorkas spoke at Aspen Security Forum. He was asked about the southern border situation, which has seen more than 200,000 migrants in the past three months.
The secretary acknowledged that the situation was a “historical challenge”, but he claimed the border was “secure.”
He said, “Look, the border’s secure.” “We are working hard to make the border safer. This has been a monumental challenge.
The question was also used by him to attack lawmakers who have stated they won’t pass comprehensive immigration legislation. Many Republicans said that they won’t consider legislation that would allow illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship until the border crisis is resolved.
He stated that he had spoken to several legislators and they told me that the border problem must be addressed before passing legislation. “I take issue with the mathematics of holding the solution hostage to solve the problem,” he said.
He said, “There is much to do,” before clarifying that “safe” and “secure” are two different terms.
He said that there are smugglers operating on the Mexican border. It is dangerous to place one’s life in their capable hands.
After Customs and Border Protection (CBP), announced last week that there had been 207,000 encounters with migrants at the border in June – compared to just under 189,000 in June 2013. According to the June report, 105,161 migrants were removed from the U.S. in June. This includes 92,273 migrants expelled under Title 42 of the CDC – 79.652 migrants were allowed into the US.
Based on June’s data, there were 1,746,119 total encounters with the southern border in the 2022 fiscal year. This is more than the 1,734,686 encounters in FY21 and still three months in FY’22.
Republicans are focusing on the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis. They blame it for its rollback of Trump-era policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols, which requires that migrants be returned to Mexico during their immigration hearings. To speed up hearings, the administration has reduced Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) priority list, stopped the construction of a border wall, and established an asylum rule.
Republicans have denied these claims. The Trump administration closed legal asylum channels and pointed to the “root causes” of poverty, violence, and corruption in Central America. It also wants to end Title 42 expulsions. These expulsions have been used to expulse a majority of migrants from March 2020 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. It argues that traditional expulsions will reduce repeat encounters and discourage migrants. A federal court has blocked the administration from terminating Title 42.
Mayorkas has repeatedly stood by his handling of the border crisis. In April, he stated that his DHS had inherited a dysfunctional and defunct system that was already under strain. Only Congress can fix it.”
He told lawmakers that “yet, we have effectively managed an unprecedented number of noncitizens trying to enter the United States,”