Mayorkas defends Biden not visiting border: ‘The President knows the border very well’
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed that President Joe Biden “knows the border very well” and refused to call the massive influx of illegal immigrants across the U.S. southern border a “crisis” during an interview Friday.
“CNN This Morning” anchor Poppy Harlow pressed Mayorkas on the potential end of Trump-era immigration policy Title 42, asking the border czar if Biden’s plan to expand such measures was “inhumane.”
She was referring to a statement by four Democratic senators that panned the president’s new border announcement as a continuation of “inhumane Trump-era policy” that would “further enrich human smuggling networks.”
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Mayorkas also refused to call the situation at the border a “crisis.”
“We’re doing everything that we possibly can to build a system that provides humanitarian relief in a safe and orderly way,” the cabinet secretary claimed.
When confronted over why Biden had not yet visited the border as president, Mayorkas argued, “The president knows the border very well.”
The Homeland Security chief emphasized that he had personally been to the border “nearly twenty times” and defended Biden for not visiting the border during his presidency.
“[Biden’s] going to see the border not for the first time in his public service career,” Mayorkas said.
Biden promised that he would visit the border next week in a speech Thursday that was widely mocked for being full of gaffes and factual inaccuracies.
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Mayorkas distanced himself from Trump later in the interview, stating that his border plan did not bear “any resemblance” to Trump’s border policies.
Instead, he blamed the immigration system and called for Congress to step in.
“Fundamentally, we are dealing with a broken immigration system. Everyone understands it to be so,” Mayorkas said. “We need Congress to act.”
The secretary of Homeland Security also had to respond directly to statements he made in September to CNN anchor Jake Tapper, when he said that asylum seekers were “most certainly” welcome to the United States.
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More recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued “new border enforcement measures” on Friday in preparation for the end of Title 42.
While the Jan. 5 press statement also did not use the word “crisis” to describe the border, DHS did concede that there was an “unprecedented surge in migration across the hemisphere.”
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