Washington, DC – U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday admitted that the rush to the U.S. border is the highest it has been in 20 years but blamed it on former President Donald Trump.
“What I am seeing is the result… of President Trump’s dismantlement of the safe and orderly immigration processes that were built over many, many years by Presidents of both parties,” Mayorkas told FOX News on March 21.
“That’s what we are seeing, and that’s why it’s taking time for us to execute our plans to administer the humanitarian claims of vulnerable children. That’s what this is about,” he claimed.
Mayorkas denied that President Joe Biden’s cancellation of policies, such as the one that kept asylum seekers in Mexico while they waited for their cases to be heard, were responsible for the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S. border, FOX News reported.
He said the Biden administration had replaced former President Trump’s policy “with a safe and orderly triage system working with our partners in Mexico and humanitarian organizations in the international space and we are not expelling vulnerable children.”
The DHS secretary claimed the Biden administration was sending the message to children to stop crossing the border “because we are rebuilding orderly processes for them as well, as the country always had until the prior administration,” FOX News reported.
Mayorkas stressed that President Biden was working to get the migrant crisis at the border under control, calling it just a “surge,” the Associated Press reported.
“Our message has been straightforward — the border is closed,” Mayorkas said. “We are expelling families. We are expelling single adults. And we’ve made a decision that we will not expel young, vulnerable children.”
The Biden administration rolled back numerous immigration measures enacted by the prior administration without having a plan to replace them, the Associated Press reported.
“We have seen large numbers of migration in the past,” Mayorkas insisted. “We know how to address it. We have a plan. We are executing on our plan and we will succeed.”
He said it would take time to institute the new plan and that it was “especially challenging and difficult now” given the changes made by the Trump administration, the Associated Press reported.
“So we are rebuilding the system as we address the needs of vulnerable children who arrived at our borders,” Mayorkas explained.
Critics said that the Biden administration basically invited the thousands of migrants surging north without having a plan to handle the crisis they brought with them, the Associated Press reported.
“I haven’t seen a plan,” U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said. “They have created a humanitarian crisis down here at this border that you have seen now. And the reason why they are coming is because he says words do matter, and they do.”
“The messaging is that if you want to come, you can stay,” McCaul added.
Thus far, Mayorkas has refused to allow the media to visit the facilities being used to house the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border, the Associated Press reported.
He said DHS was “working on providing access so that individuals will be able to see what the conditions in a Border Patrol station are like.”
There has been a dramatic spike in illegal border crossings since President Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20, the Associated Press reported.
Pew Research Center said that the 18,945 family members and 9,297 unaccompanied children who illegally crossed into the United States in February were an increase of 168 percent and 63 percent, respectively, from January.