DHS Chief: U.S.-Mexico Border Is Closed, But Unaccompanied Minors Accepted

Written by on March 21, 2021

Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday defended the Biden administration’s dealing with of a surge of migrants which have overwhelmed the nation’s immigration system, whereas additionally declaring that the U.S.-Mexico border “is closed” and solely unaccompanied minors can be allowed in.

“The message is sort of clear: Don’t come. The border is closed, the border is safe,” Mayorkas stated on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’re rebuilding the system as we deal with the wants of weak youngsters who arrive at our borders.”

Mayorkas defended the choice to permit unaccompanied minors in a separate interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” saying it could be inhumane to show them away into the Mexican dessert.

Mayorkas’ message follows U.S. border brokers apprehending greater than 100,000 migrants final month, 28 p.c greater than the earlier month. The final time U.S. Customs and Border Safety reported such figures was within the spring of 2019, based on the CBP’s on-line figures.

Regardless of the surge, and immigration officers halting the acceptance of adults and households, the Biden administration has refused to label the present state of affairs a “disaster,” a time period that Mayorkas once more on Sunday deflected.

“I cannot use language that isn’t relevant,” he stated on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Present.” “We now have handled surges in migration on the border earlier than. We now have a plan, we’re executing our plan, we are going to succeed. We all know what to do, we’re doing it, and that’s the reality of the matter.”

Mayorkas blamed the earlier Trump administration for each the rise in circumstances and for the immigration system’s lack of ability to deal with all of it.

A child walks through tents at a migrant camp on the grounds of the National Institute for Migration near the "El Chaparral"

A baby walks by means of tents at a migrant camp on the grounds of the Nationwide Institute for Migration close to the “El Chaparral” border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico, on March 17. 

He argued that folks have been more and more compelled to flee their nations and search refuge within the U.S. as a result of the Trump administration reduce off humanitarian help to their nations, making an already dire state of affairs worse. Mayorkas additionally accused the earlier administration of dismantling the immigration system amid a pandemic.

“We’re rebuilding these orderly programs each in Mexico, in shut partnerships with the Mexican authorities, and within the nations of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador,” he stated in his interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Profession immigration officers had warned of a possible migrant surge after the November presidential election and information that Trump’s hardline immigration insurance policies have been being reversed, the Related Press reported.

“They see him because the migrant president,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated of President Joe Biden following a digital assembly together with his U.S. counterpart on March 1. “And so many really feel they’re going to succeed in the US.”

Republicans on Sunday accused the Biden administration of truly encouraging the push of migrants, notably by permitting refuge to unaccompanied minors. 

“Encouraging these children to come back is just not a humane factor,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), the main Republican on the Senate Homeland Safety and Governmental Affairs Committee, stated on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “It’s definitely overwhelming our system.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) on Sunday shared an analogous sentiment.

“The border is huge open,” he stated on “Fox Information Sunday.” “He’s principally saying that the U.S. won’t safe our border and that may be a massive welcome signal to migrants from the world over.”

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