Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said during a House Appropriations DHS Subcommittee meeting that the southern border is not a disaster and that the problems at the border were caused by the previous administration.
“We inherited a broken and dismantled system that is already under strain. It is not built to manage the current levels and types of migratory flows. Only Congress can fix this,” Mayorkas said. “Yet, we have effectively managed an unprecedented number of noncitizens seeking to enter the United States, and interdicted more drugs and disrupted more smuggling operations than ever before.”
Sec. of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas:
"We will not lose operational control of the border." pic.twitter.com/B7jtwaTRp8
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 27, 2022
Mayorkas said that there has been a “significant increase” in illegal migration that is straining the system, but that the challenge would be addressed “successfully.”
“But it will take time, and we need the partnership of Congress, state and local officials, NGOs, and communities to do so,” Mayorkas said.
Mayorkas said that the DHS had requested funding to hire new agents, something he says hasn’t occurred since 2011.
Mayorkas also called for funding to “counter human and drug smuggling operations, combat the heinous crime of child exploitation and human trafficking, and stop goods produced by forced labor from entering our markets.”
The border crisis has only increased since the Biden Administration decided to end Title 42 expulsion, which was enacted in March of 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. The action has since been halted by a Louisiana judge.
“We started our planning last September and we are leading the execution of a whole of government strategy, which stands on six pillars to prepare for and manage the rise in noncitizen encounters,” he said.
Those pillars include more resources for the border, increased screening efficiency, coordination with NGOs, targetted disruption of cartel and other organized crime organizations, and deterring irregular immigration.
He also said that the crisis “is not something unique to the United States.”
“This is something that countries throughout the region, throughout the Western Hemisphere, and as we have seen so powerfully and regrettably seen throughout the world.”