Tags: Biden Administration | Immigration | migrant | surge | biden | defend | mayorkas

DHS Chief Mayorkas Defends Handling of Child Migrant Surge at Border

alejandro mayorkas wears a dark face mask and gestures with both hands while speaking from a podium
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas delivers remarks at a FEMA community vaccination center in Philadelphia on March 2. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 March 2021 09:19 AM

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the U.S. response to a surge of unaccompanied minors at the southwest border on Tuesday, saying the region was on track to see more people trying to enter than any time in the last 20 years.

"We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years," he said in a statement. "We are expelling most single adults and families.  We are not expelling unaccompanied children."

Mayorkas said the government is creating a joint processing center to transfer the children, as young as six, to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services and is trying to find additional shelters for them.

"They are vulnerable children and we have ended the prior administration’s practice of expelling them," Mayorkas said  in the statement, his most response yet on a situation at the border.

"The situation we are currently facing at the southwest border is a difficult one. We are tackling it," he said in the statement.

The increasing number of migrants attempting to cross the border, which is at the highest level since spring 2019 and on pace to rise to hit a 20-year peak, has become an early test for President Joe Biden as he seeks to break from his immediate predecessor, President Donald Trump, who waged a broad effort to significantly curtail both legal and illegal immigration.

Officials have warned "the border is not open" and said they are sending back adults and families who have tried to cross the border illegally since Biden took office.

Nearly 4,300 unaccompanied children were being held by border patrol officials as of Sunday, according to an agency official who requested anonymity to discuss the matter. By law, the children should be transferred out of Customs and Border Protection facilities to HHS-run shelters within 72 hours.

"The Border Patrol facilities have become crowded with children and the 72-hour timeframe for the transfer of children from the Border Patrol to HHS is not always met," Mayorkas acknowledged. HHS also has not had the capacity to take in the number of children, he said.

This report contains material from Reuters and The Associated Press.

© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended the U.S. response to a surge of unaccompanied minors at the southwest border on Tuesday, saying the region was on track to see more people trying to enter than any time in the last 20 years.
migrant, surge, biden, defend, mayorkas
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2021-19-16
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 09:19 AM
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