Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas attempted to defend the administration’s response to the surge of unaccompanied minors at the southern border. His excuse? There’s more migrants trying to enter than any time in the last 20 years. That says a lot about the loose policies Biden has put in place.
“We are on pace to accept more individuals on our borders than in the past 20 years,” Mayorkas revealed. “We refuse to deport unaccompanied minor children, but we are expelling individuals and adult families,” he added.
Mayorkas said children who just enter the U.S. will be “processed” in government holding facilities before being taken into custody where additional shelter will be provided. Children as young as six are being processed and housed by the Biden Administration.
“We have ended the prior administration’s policy of expelling minor children,” Mayorkas said. However, one could ask whether being sent back to your home country is worse than being processed and housed in warehouse-like facilities or Biden’s tent cities.
“The situation we are currently facing at the southwest border is a difficult one,” he admitted.
The increasing number of migrants attempting to cross the border, which is at the highest level since spring 2019 and on pace to rise to hit a 20-year peak, has become an early test for President Joe Biden as he seeks to break from his immediate predecessor, President Donald Trump, who waged a broad effort to significantly curtail both legal and illegal immigration.
Officials have warned “the border is not open” and said they are sending back adults and families who have tried to cross the border illegally since Biden took office.
Nearly 4,300 unaccompanied children were being held by border patrol officials as of Sunday, according to an agency official who requested anonymity to discuss the matter. By law, the children should be transferred out of Customs and Border Protection facilities to HHS-run shelters within 72 hours.
“The Border Patrol facilities have become crowded with children and the 72-hour timeframe for the transfer of children from the Border Patrol to HHS is not always met,” Mayorkas acknowledged. HHS also has not had the capacity to take in the number of children, he said.