DHS Secretary Mayorkas Claims ‘Our Borders Are Not Open’

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Claims ‘Our Borders Are Not Open’

Mona Salama
Mona Salama
|
September 21, 2021

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas visited Del Rio International bridge in Texas Monday where nearly 15,000 migrants, the majority being Haitian nationals are living in impromptu makeshift camps, continuing to make the false assertion despite seeing firsthand the beleaguered border town that the U.S. southern “border are not open.”

“This is not the way to come to the United States,” Mayorkas said at a press conference. “Irregular migration poses a serious security risk to the migrants themselves; trying to enter the United States illegally is not worth the tragedy, the money, or the effort.”

“Our borders are not open, and people should not make the dangerous journey,” Mayorkas added.

Mayorakas noted that some migrants might be under the impression they can get Temporary Protected Status (TPS), stressing it is limited to only Haitians who arrived in the U.S before July 29.

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“I want to make sure that it is known that this is not the way to come to the United States. That is false information. Irregular migration poses a serious security risk to the migrants themselves. Trying to enter the United States illegally is not worth the tragedy, the money or the effort,” Mayorkas stated.

The DHS chief also issued a stark warning to Haitians who have flooded Del Rio over the last week that their “journey will not succeed,” flatly stating that they won’t be allowed to stay due to Title 42 public health order and will be “placed in expedited removal proceedings.”

“If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned. Your journey will not succeed, and you will be endangering your life and your family’s lives. This administration is committed to developing safe, orderly, and humane pathways for migration. This is not the way to do it,” Mayorkas warned.

“DHS is conducting regular expulsion and removal flights to Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, and Northern Triangle countries,” Mayorkas added.

Mayorkas’ futile warning comes five days after Haitian migrants quickly began piling up under the bridge, overwhelming Border officials. In three short days, the number of illegal crossers tripled from 4,000 Thursday to exactly 14,748 recorded on Saturday. The lack of Border Patrol manpower to deal with the massive influx of Haitian migrants flocking to the impromptu camp also saw hundreds of Haitians crossing back and forth over the Del Rio river to Mexico for food and supplies, causing major security concerns among local and national Texas officials.

The sudden influx of tens of thousands of Haitians who in recent days have crossed the Rio Grande has presented President Biden with a new border crisis at a time his administration has seen over illegal crossings since taking office, reaching a 20-year high. Last Thursday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) had encountered 208,887 migrants at the southwestern border in August, the second straight month the number of encounters had exceeded 200,000.

To respond to the new crisis, the Biden administration announced that they are planning a “widescale expulsion” of Haitian migrants that have taken shelter under the International Bridge in squalid conditions back to their home nation of Haiti starting Sunday. Three deportation flights carrying more than 320 migrants took off on Sunday from San Antonio to Port-au-Prince. According to a U.S. official, six expulsion flights are expected to take place Tuesday, with the U.S. planning seven flights daily beginning Wednesday — four to Port-au-Prince and three to Cap-Haitien. Flights will continue to depart from Del Rio International Airport, but authorities may add San Antonio and El Paso, the official added.

Texas Republicans are slamming both the Biden administration and Mayorkas for their “destructive immigration policies” and called on them to “get to work” in securing the border.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who visited the Del Rio area last Thursday, criticized Mayorkas’ visit as “damage control” that will be yet another photo-op visit today to South Texas in an attempt to save face for President Biden and his administration’s failures.”

“President Biden’s open border politics and policies are endangering thousands of lives every single day. Now, his administration is trying to do damage control after over 10,000 illegal immigrants have poured over the border and into Del Rio, Texas. Sec. Mayorkas went on yet another photo-op visit today to South Texas in an attempt to save face for President Biden and his administration’s failures,” Cruz said in a statement.

“The border crisis is a TOTAL disaster and Biden is doing nothing. He can stop this at any moment, but he won’t. Democrats WANT this to happen. They want to wreck our country!” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) tweeted.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) who hasn’t spoken once to Biden about the border crisis his administration has created, sent a letter Monday requesting a federal emergency declaration for the state of Texas. In the letter, Abbott emphasized that the Del Rio situation has drained his state’s public-funded resources and has cost his state billions.

“This surge poses life-threatening risks to residents of Val Verde County and is quickly overrunning law enforcement and health care and humanitarian resources which were never intended to be used in this capacity,” Abbott wrote in the five-page letter to Biden. “The disaster caused from individuals unlawfully crossing the Texas-Mexico border is of such severity that supplementary federal assistance is necessary to lessen the threat of disaster, save lives, and protect property, public health, and safety.”

The visit from Mayorkas comes as the Biden administration announced earlier that it has recommended to Congress “an increase in the refugee admissions target from 62,500 in the Fiscal Year 2021 to 125,000 in the Fiscal Year 2022 to address needs generated by humanitarian crises around the globe.”

“A robust refugee admissions program is critical to U.S. foreign policy interests and national security objectives and is a reflection of core American values,” the State Department said in a press release attached to the Report to Congress. “The United States has long been a global leader in refugee resettlement. The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) reflects our tradition as a nation that has long welcomed immigrants and refugees.”

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Mona Salama

Mona Salama

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