President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters in a Monday press briefing that there is not a crisis at the border, despite the hundreds of illegal and unaccompanied migrant children flooding into the United States from Central America.
The Biden administration recently admitted it is holding more than 700 unaccompanied migrant children in custody at the border, some for longer than 72 hours, in direct violation of federal law. It has also already referred approximately 400 minors to Department of Health and Human Services shelters, a significant increase since the “peak of the 2019 crisis” when the 30-day referral average was just under 300 children. Mayorkas, however, is firmly opposed to any conclusions that the migrant influx was a crisis.
“Do you believe that right now there is a crisis at the border?” a reporter asked.
“No. There is a challenge at the border that we are managing. … The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security are working around the clock seven days a week to ensure that we do not have a crisis at the border, that we manage the challenge, as acute as the challenge is.”
DHS Sec. Mayorkas, asked if there is a crisis at the border says, “No. There is a challenge at the border that we are managing.”
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) March 1, 2021
As the weather warms and border crossings become more frequent in the spring and summer, Axios reports that at least 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children are expected to come to the United States in May, giving the Biden administration just two months to sort out its plans for housing migrant minors after refusing to expel them. Already, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the Biden administration’s decision to reopen a detention center filled with caged shipping containers for unaccompanied migrant children in Texas by claiming it is necessary due to COVID-19.
Even though Mayorkas denied that there is a crisis at the southern border, he admitted the Biden administration is still urging people to stay away until they can take more actions, including spurring on congressional Democrats to support a bill that seeks to grant amnesty to more than 11 million illegal immigrants.
“We are not saying don’t come. We are saying don’t come now because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible,” Mayorkas said.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas says asylum seekers should wait to come to U.S. as Biden administration rebuilds immigration process
"We are not saying don't come. We are saying don't come now, because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible" pic.twitter.com/eZvCHy1iHX
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 1, 2021
Mayorkas also weighed in on the Biden administration’s family reunification promises, stating that those affected by “the most powerful example of cruelty” of the Trump administration would be granted the opportunity to be reunited either on their home soil or in the United States, where they will be provided the opportunity to “explore lawful pathways” to stay in the country.
Mayorkas said about 105 families have been reunited so far during the Biden administration.
He said the separation of children from their families was “the most powerful example of cruelty” during the Trump administration.
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) March 1, 2021