Homeland Security Secretary Alexander Mayorkas He again refused to call the ongoing situation on the southern border a “crisis” in an interview, claiming that acknowledging that the situation was a crisis meant “withdrawing from our mission.”
Mayorkas was asked during an interview with 60 Minutes if he viewed the current situation at the border – which saw a record 1.7 million migrants in fiscal 2021 and more than 2.3 million in fiscal 2022 – as a crisis.
“I consider it quite a challenge,” Mayorkas said, echoing the answer he has given to this question on multiple occasions.
When asked why the word “crisis” was not used, Mayorkas said it was because “I have strong faith in the people of the Department of Homeland Security.”
“I’ve had a crisis about withdrawing from our mission. We’re just putting more force and more energy into it,” he said.
Mallorcas was hit on the situation on the border during multiple hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives this week, which have seen a number of Republicans say he should resign or be fired.
Those hearings have come under increased scrutiny in Mallorcas, following a hearing last month Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz – who said that agents had no “operational control” of the border.
“In five of those nine southwestern border sectors, we have seen an increase in influx which has put a huge strain on our resources and forced the Border Patrol to transfer agents and even migrants to some other areas,” Ortiz said when asked if the border was secure.
Ortiz also said he disagreed with the move to end the wall and used the word “crisis” to describe the situation.
“The flow of migration presents challenges and in some areas a crisis situation,” he said.
Mayorcas was asked specifically if he agreed with those remarks.
“I think we are facing a very serious challenge in parts of the border,” he said.
Republicans have linked the massive increase in immigrants coming to the border to the policies of the Biden administration. The administration sought to broaden legal pathways, but it also ended a number of border protections under Trump, halted wall construction, scaled back domestic law enforcement and expanded “capture and release.”
The administration said it seeks to promote humane and orderly migration and increase resources to the border, while dealing with a hemispheric crisis and reforming the asylum system that the previous administration gutted. He also hit Republicans for refusing to approve a number of cross-border funding requests, including one for nearly $5 billion in December.
In the interview, Mayorcas again argued that the surge was not being faced solely by the United States
“The number of people arriving at our border is at an extraordinarily high level. There’s no doubt about that. But it’s not unique to the southern border of the United States. There’s an enormous amount of traffic across the hemisphere and in fact, all over the world,” said Mayorkas. .