In an appearance on Good Morning America, Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas appeared to warn individuals considering hopping the United States-Mexico border to hold off, and he suggested that the Biden administration is working on a plan to orderly process more illegal immigrants and asylum seekers.
“Do not come now,” Mayorkas said, matter-of-factly, when asked what his message to those planning to cross the border illegally might be.
“Give us the time to rebuild the system that was entirely dismantled in the prior administration,” he added.
As The Daily Wire reported earlier Tuesday, Mayorkas also admitted that the United States is on pace for the highest number of illegal border crossings in 20 years, though he did admit that the United States Customs and Border Protection is arresting adults and expelling them back into Mexico, accepting only unaccompanied minors and families with “vulnerable” children.
“We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years. We are expelling most single adults and families. We are not expelling unaccompanied children,” he said.
Indeed, the Biden administration is seeking comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, but Mayorkas appears to be referring to a separate plan, announced quietly last month, which would “slowly allow” as many as 25,000 asylum seekers into the United States from camps in Mexico, per The Associated Press.
The problem appears to be that, while President Joe Biden rescinded the Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy, which forced asylum seekers to remain in camps south of the United States border until they could be processed by immigration courts — a stark change from the Obama administration’s so-called “catch and release” policy that allowed asylum seekers to remain in the U.S. — the Biden policy applies only to new asylum seekers, not those who traveled to the border under then-President Donald Trump.
“The Biden administration on Friday announced plans for tens of thousands of people who are seeking asylum and have been forced to wait in Mexico under a Trump-era policy to be allowed into the U.S. while their cases wind through immigration courts,” the AP reported. “The first wave of an estimated 25,000 asylum-seekers with active cases in the “Remain in Mexico” program will be allowed into the United States on Feb. 19, authorities said. They plan to start slowly, with two border crossings each processing up to 300 people a day and a third crossing taking fewer numbers.”
Mayorkas made a similar statement at the time, telling reporters that “the U.S. government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation’s values.”
He did add that the change “should not be interpreted as an opening for people to migrate irregularly to the United States” but it seems to have had the opposite effect. The Washington Post reports that Customs and Border Protection are handling a record number of arrests and the situation shows no sign of decline. Adults who are arrested crossing the border illegally are being “expelled” back into Mexico under a lingering Trump administration anti-pandemic policy.
The Biden administration echoed that sentiment through press secretary Jen Psaki.
“We don’t want people to put themselves in danger at a time where it is not the right time to come, because we have not had time to put in place a humane and moral system and process,” she said.
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