Mayorkas Listening to On Homeland Safety, Border : NPR


Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas appears before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday. Drew Angerer / Getty Images hide subtitles

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Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas appears before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before a House Committee about the recent surge in migrants – especially unaccompanied minors – on the US-Mexico border as Republicans have viewed the surge in asylum seekers as a “crisis” which was triggered by the Biden government.

“The situation on the southwest border is difficult. We are working around the clock to deal with this and we will continue to do so,” Mayorkas said in a statement on Tuesday before the panel’s testimony.

“We will not waver in our values ​​and principles as a nation either. Our goal is a safe, legal and orderly immigration system based on our basic priorities: To keep our borders secure, we must address the plight of children as law.” requires and enables families to be together. “

Watch the hearing live on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m.

The United States is well on its way to seeing the highest number of migrants on the country’s southern border than ever in the past 20 years, Mayorkas said.

During his campaign, President Biden stressed the importance of taking a humane approach to immigration following the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security began implementing a new procedure for asylum seekers that no longer requires them to stay in Mexico as required by law under Donald Trump’s administration. However, Mayorkas continued to stress that potential migrants should not travel to the border while the administration works to update the system.

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Republicans have pounced on the surge in migrants, citing this as evidence of Biden’s weakness with immigration, arguing that his approach endangers the lives of both Americans and asylum seekers.

“It’s more than a crisis. This is a human heartbreak,” said Kevin McCarthy, Republican House minority leader, at a news conference Monday after a tour of the El Paso Processing Center. “This crisis is caused by the presidential policy of this new administration.”

McCarthy said border guards told him that housing is fast reaching capacity and that the number of migrants is “growing exponentially every day”.

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A DHS document obtained from NPR shows that as of Sunday 4,276 unaccompanied migrant children were in US government custody. Minors who arrive at the US border without a parent or guardian spend an average of 117 hours in detention centers, far longer than the 72 hours allowed by law.

The situation is further compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, which requires additional logs when processing migrants.