The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, said Monday that former President Donald Trump is responsible for the crisis at the United States-Mexico Border.
In a press briefing Monday, the Secretary of Homeland Security blamed the former president for the flood of migrants and chaos at the border. Recently, there has been a rise in illegal immigration across the southern border up over 100% in the past year. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency released the numbers on immigration last month, citing that in the month of January, illegal immigrants apprehended at the border reached nearly 78,000, up from 36,679 in January 2020. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says that the migrantas believed the border was open with the United States now under the presidency of Joe Biden.
Mayorkas says is urging immigrants to hold off for the time being until the new administration can establish a new system for immigration. Mayorkas was not shy in his criticisms of former President Donald Trump, calling him by name and attacking his immigration policies in the Monday press briefing. He also made it clear that the Biden Administration was actively working on the situation at the border, and assured reporters that they were in the process of reforming the current immigration system. “Let me explain to you why [fixing the broken immigration system] is hard and why it is going to take time. I think it is important to understand what we have inherited because it defines the situation as it currently stands. Entire systems are not rebuilt in a day or in a few weeks…To put it succinctly, the prior administration dismantled our nation’s immigration system in its entirety.”
The DHS Secretary continued, adding that his team did not have the tools or resources necessary to handle immigration upon starting the job nearly a month ago. “Quite frankly, the entire system was gutted”, Mayorkas told reporters. He added that the Trump Administration had canceled the Central American Minors Refugee Program, and cut funding to the Northern Triangle Countries (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala). Mayorkas blamed these reasons for the southern border crisis. Furthermore, he slammed the previous administration for entering into contracts that were unconstitutional or were in direct opposition to the interests of the United States Justice Department. Mayorkas claims that these things are all “just the tip of it” when it comes to issues at the border.
“It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty that the administration before us established. What we are seeing now at the border is the immediate result of the dismantlement of the system and the time that it takes to rebuild it virtually from scratch”, Mayorkas added. His comments came abruptly and preempted any questions from reporters, suggesting it was likely that Mayorkas was expecting related questions and jumped on it early. Many immigrants have the preconceived notion that President Biden would be opening the borders for migrants. According to the New York Post, “a Honduran migrant traveling with a caravan to the United States said Biden, then the president-elect, was giving them “100 days to get to the country.”
ARTICLE: ETHAN FINN
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE NEW YORKER