Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris told illegal immigrants not to come to the United States. This week, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas reiterated Harris’ message that the border is closed.
“Children and families don’t need to put their hands, their lives, their life savings in the grasp of smugglers and traffickers,” Mayorkas told Yahoo News.
“And [Harris’s] statement was a statement of humanity: ‘Do not come. It is dangerous,’” he continued. “The border is not open, and we are building safe and legal and orderly avenues to seek humanitarian relief under our laws. And we’re addressing the root causes, which is the focus of her efforts.”
Mayorkas’s comments reflect the fine line that Biden administration officials are trying to navigate at the southern border. While distancing themselves from the harsh policies of the Trump administration that were designed to “disincentivize” migrants from crossing the border illegally, current officials have been confronted with a surge in migrants that has reached a 20-year high.
In April, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 178,622 migrants apprehended attempting to enter the United States, up from 101,120 in February — with many of them coming from more distant countries, such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti, as well as Central America’s Northern Triangle countries (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras).
Mayorkas, who is discussing the issue with senior officials in Mexico on Tuesday, continued to reject the idea that the migrant surge constituted a “crisis.”
“I know people used the term ‘crisis,’ with which I disagreed,” Mayorkas said. “When they use it, they referred to the fact that children were crowded in Border Patrol facilities where children did not belong. And we’ve addressed that. And we’ve executed on the plan that we then had. And we continue to have, No. 1.
Continue reading story at: thinkamericana.com