Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas slammed news reports this week about a notice that the administration posted that waived dozens of laws in order to build border wall on the U.S. southern border.
Mayorkas said on the U.S. Federal Register that the dire conditions on the U.S.-Mexico border makes it “necessary to waive certain laws, regulations, and other legal requirements” in order to ensure the expeditious construction of “physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the border of the United States in order to prevent unlawful entries into the United States.”
Mayorkas was forced to highlight the administration’s failures to secure the border and their open border policies in the announcement, noting that in August, nearly a quarter of a million illegal aliens were caught attempting to enter the U.S. — a number that does not include illegal aliens who evaded detection and escaped into the country.
The announcement named multiple areas within the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector that are areas of “high illegal entry” that the administration now has designated as “project areas.”
President Joe Biden addressed the announcement with reporters on Thursday, saying that he could not stop border wall from being built in the area because the money was appropriated under the previous administration. He said that he does not believe that walls work.
Following Biden’s remarks, Mayorkas issued a statement where he said that he wanted to be “absolutely clear” that “there is no new Administration policy with respect to border walls.”
“From day one, this Administration has made clear that a border wall is not the answer,” he said. “That remains our position and our position has never wavered. The language in the Federal Register notice is being taken out of context and it does not signify any change in policy whatsoever.”
“The construction project reported today was appropriated during the prior administration in 2019 and the law requires the government to use these funds for this purpose, which we announced earlier this year,” he continued. “We have repeatedly asked Congress to rescind this money but it has not done so and we are compelled to follow the law.”
Mayorkas claimed that the solution for border security involved “a smarter and more comprehensive approach, including state-of the-art border surveillance technology and modernized ports of entry.”
He made no mention about the problematic messaging from the administration, its open border policies, or its lack of enforcing immigration laws.