Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the Biden administration’s disastrous handling of the ongoing crisis on the U.S. southern border during a press conference this week.
Mayorkas, who has led the department for nearly the entire duration of Biden’s presidency, said on Thursday that it would take more time for the American public to see tangible results from the administration’s alleged attempts to fix the crisis.
“The president said this week that the situation on the southern border is going to be chaotic for a while,” a reporter said to Mayorkas. “Given the fact that you’ve had nearly two years to prepare for this moment, how can chaos be the expectation?”
“Well, I have said for months and months that the challenge at the border is and is going to be very difficult. And we have spoken repeatedly about the fact that that difficulty may actually only increase at this time of transition,” Mayorkas responded. “It is going to take a period of time for our approach to actually gain traction and show results. And I’ve been very clear about that.”
Mayorkas took no responsibility for the ongoing crisis and instead blamed a “broken immigration system.”
The reporter noted that many of the measures that Mayorkas claims will address the surge at the border have not even been put into place or were only announced in recent days.
“So, given how long you have known that Title 42 is ending on May 11, why aren’t all these measures already in place?” the reporter asked.
Mayorkas sidestepped the question and claimed that the department had “surged resources of all types over months and months.”
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Another reporter pressed Mayorkas about a memo obtained by the U.S. Border Patrol chief sent to sector chiefs that said that illegal aliens would be released into the interior if overcrowding became an issue, which is not Title 8, which Mayorkas claimed the administration would use.
“I mean, these migrants don’t get an alien registration number that would be used to track them. They don’t get a court date. They’re instead asked to self-report to ICE within 60 days,” the reporter said. “You said at the beginning that you’ve prepared for this moment for almost two years, so why is part of that plan an honor system?”
Mayorkas claimed that it was “not an honor system.”
“What we do is we use the resources that we have to meet the challenges that we confront,” he claimed. “This is a tool that has been used in the past. The vast majority of individuals will indeed be placed in expedited removal and, if they do not qualify, will be removed in a matter of days, if not weeks, from the United States.”
“If those individuals do not honor their commitment to surrender to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer to be able to be placed in enforcement proceedings, they are a subject of our apprehension efforts,” Mayorkas added, effectively admitting that it was an honor system.