Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, defended the administration’s tactics on Sunday despite increasing criticism of the large number of migrants at the southern border and stated that Congress “must enact” new immigration laws.
Mayorkas said to Martha Raddatz, co-anchor of ABC’s “This Week,” “Because the border has been a challenge for decades, ultimately Congress must approve legislation to finally solve our flawed immigration system.”
After 53 migrants were discovered dead in a tractor-trailer in San Antonio, Texas, late last month, Mayorkas sprang to their defense, calling it the “tragic outcome” of a “difficult voyage.” For the deaths, four guys have been charged.
Mayorkas claimed on “This Week” that the United States was collaborating with regional partners in Central and South America in addition to trying to pass legislation, which had little chance of passing in Congress.
Mayorkas declared that “these are extraordinary, distinctive times.” Instead of passing new legislation, he said, “we have a multi-faceted approach, not only working with our partner countries but also bringing law enforcement to bear to combat the smuggling groups in an unprecedented level.” “We are accomplishing so much,”
Given the partisan deadlock on the topic, Raddatz grilled Mayorkas on immigration. Additionally, she claimed that the administration’s advice to migrants not to attempt to cross the border was either not being heard or was not being obeyed.
53 migrants died in the worst possible circumstances, according to Mayorkas, who spoke about the migrants who died in San Antonio. “We keep advising individuals not to make the perilous voyage. Our laws are being upheld. And to properly address the migration that is occurring throughout the Western Hemisphere, we are collaborating with nations, including our close partner Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia.”
However, Raddatz noted a 240,000 increase over the previous high in May for southern border crossings.
“We are doing a good job, in my opinion. We need to improve “Mayorkas gave his approval. “We are working with our allies to the south to do more,” the statement continued.
“Congressman Henry Cuellar has stated that just around 30% of the Border Patrol are performing tasks at checkpoints and the border since the remaining 70% are confined to detention facilities. How can that be fixed?” Pressed by Raddatz.
Mayorkas replied, “To address the amount of interactions that we are having at the southern border, we are addressing this problem forcefully and aggressively.
He praised the administration’s recent victory before the Supreme Court, which decided last week that the White House can stop the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum seekers to remain outside the United States while their cases were being decided.
Policy “has intrinsic problems and generates unjustifiable human suffering,” according to Mayorkas.
“We must hold off until the lower court, the federal district court, and the Northern District of Texas are actually informed of the Supreme Court’s judgment. Therefore, we must wait a few weeks for that procedural process to be completed “explained he.
Mayorkas said he didn’t want to comment on the facts of the case because they were still developing in relation to the migrant deaths in the tractor trailer in Texas. He would not confirm or deny if the car had been “waved through” a security checkpoint.
“The groups involved in smuggling are highly developed. They are international criminal groups “explained he.
What use are these checks if a truck like that one goes through with migrants on board, Raddatz continued.
The “checkpoints are part of a tiered approach,” according to Mayorkas.
“We’ve stopped more than 400 cars and saved and rescued more than 10,000 migrants in fiscal year 2022 alone,” Mayorkas stated. “However, this is the reason we keep emphasizing that the journey—the perilous journey—should not be taken. People die as a result of exploitative smugglers while we are implementing our laws.”