“We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years,” wrote in a statement on Tuesday the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
Mayorkas continued to avoid calling it a crisis, saying that the situation at the southwest border “is difficult.”
“Our goal is a safe, legal, and orderly immigration system that is based on our bedrock priorities: to keep our borders secure, address the plight of children as the law requires, and enable families to be together. As noted by the President in his Executive Order, “securing our borders does not require us to ignore the humanity of those who seek to cross them.” We are both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. That is one of our proudest traditions.”
Mayorkas claimed that “single adults are majority of those apprehended” and that are currently being “expelled under the CDC’s authority to manage the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He also stated that “families apprehended at the southwest border are also currently being expelled.”
But Mayorkas pointed out to a major change from previous Trump administration, in which the “Unaccompanied Children who are under the age of 18 are no longer expelled, but they are instead allowed to stay in the United States.”
Mayorkas blamed the increase on immigrant influx on the poverty, high levels of violence, and corruption in Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries.
He continued to blame Trump for dismantling the asylum system, and closing facilities and “expelling young children into the hands of traffickers.” He pointed out that the Biden Administration will be investing $4 billion in the Northern Triangle countries to address the root causes of migration.
“We have had to rebuild the entire system, including the policies and procedures required to administer the asylum laws that Congress passed long ago,” said Mayorkas.
Mayorkas also announced the the U.S. will be expanding the “Central American Minors program.”
“It creates a lawful pathway for children to come to the United States without having to take the dangerous journey. Under this expansion, children will be processed in their home countries and brought to the United States in a safe and orderly way.”