The new Secretary of Homeland Security made the unannounced visit just days after acknowledging that the massive arrival of migrants represents a “challenge” for the Joe Biden Administration.
The Secretary of National Security of the Biden Administration, Alejandro Mayorkas, traveled for the first time this Saturday to the southern border with a group of senior officials, just days before recognizing that the massive arrival of migrants represents a “challenge” for the new Government.
Mayorkas’ visit to the Rio Grande Valley, in the extreme south of Texas, was not previously announced, but several officials confirmed that Noticias Telemundo Investiga was part of the delegation. This Sunday, the White House confirmed the visit in a statement.
An estimated 10,000 migrants were detained by immigration authorities in the Rio Grande Valley in the last week.
[Migrant families will not be detained for more than 72 hours, assures ICE]
Mayorkas first visited the Donna processing center, and also the Laredo and Carrizo Springs processing centers, where the Biden government has reopened a juvenile center that sparked criticism among the migrant community, considering that it is a step backwards in the Biden’s pledges to treat asylum seekers more humanely.
The White House said in a statement that President Biden had “asked” a group of officials to travel to the border “to provide him with complete information on the government’s response to the influx of unaccompanied minors.”
The president called for an “evaluation of the additional steps that can be taken to ensure the safety and care of these children,” the White House said.
Mayorkas this week blamed the Trump administration for the growing number of unaccompanied minors detained after crossing the border into Mexico, saying the former president’s policies left Biden with an immigration system “destroyed.”
A day after Trump criticized the border policies of his successor in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, Mayorkas denied that the new Administration is entering a crisis.
“We have a challenge at the border,” he said. “A stressful challenge. That is why, frankly, we are working so hard. Not only to address the urgency of the challenge, but also to develop the capacity to handle it and fulfill our humanitarian aspirations and execute the president’s vision,” he added.
The influx of migrants at the border has become the most immediate problem for Biden, as he circumvents obstacles to fulfilling his campaign promises to reverse Trump’s deterrent policies, including executive orders to curb deportations, freeze construction of the wall. border and reunite the hundreds of families separated under the Trump Administration.
Mayorkas admitted this Thursday that the Government does not have sufficient capacity for the massive arrival of migrants. Biden is also considering using a military facility in Virginia to house the excess of minors who cross the border on a daily basis without a parent.
The number of minors arriving without parents has often exceeded 300 a day in the last week, a four-fold increase since October.
Mayorkas told reporters that the Biden Administration is “working around the clock to replace the cruelty of the past Administration with an orderly, humane and safe immigration process,” citing Trump’s questioned 2018 guidelines that led to the separation. of more than 3,000 children of their parents at the border.