Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made remarkably frank comments during a private meeting with U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas on Thursday, notably that the current illegal migrant crisis is “unsustainable” and that “we’re going to lose” control of the situation if “borders are the first line of defense” for the nation.
“A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,” said Mayorkas, according to audio files obtained by Fox News‘ Bill Melugin via a source within the Border Patrol.
“We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it,” he added.
During a press conference Thursday, Mayorkas revealed that hundreds of thousands of migrants were encountered in July by Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection personnel in July, a single-month record.
WATCH: Biden’s DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas concedes that the border has come close to “breaking” under Biden. pic.twitter.com/ZUE5jym0nq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 13, 2021
“Allow me to share with you the CBP enforcement numbers for July – 212,672 persons were encountered attempting entry along the southwest border, a 13 percent increase over June 2021,” he said, noting that month border authorities encountered 188,829 illegal immigrants.
“The extent of the challenge should not be understated, but nor should our ability to meet it,” Mayorkas added.
(Video: GOP War Room)
During his meet-and-greet with immigration agents at the Tex-Mex border, Mayorkas frankly admitted that the current situation with migrants “cannot continue.” He also said that the federal immigration infrastructure is not set up to handle such a massive influx of illegal aliens seen in the months after President Joe Biden reversed nearly all of former President Donald Trump’s immigration enforcement policies.
Mayorkas also told agents that he is “very well” aware of the fact that the sector he visited came close to “breaking” recently.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that that never happens again,” he told agents, Fox News reported.
In conversations with Mayorkas, one border agent appeared exasperated and made it clear that the solution is simple — a return to what was working just a year ago under the previous administration.
“For those of us who have been around here long enough … we don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” the agent told Mayorkas, according to the audio obtained by Melugin. “We’ve had this happen before. We know exactly how to shut it down. We need to make illegal entry illegal.”
Mayorkas appeared empathetic, informing agents that he would seek to get them hazardous duty pay for dealing with so many migrants who are testing positive for COVID-19, especially the new delta variant, while thanking them for their “heroic” efforts.
The DHS chief, who has had two articles of impeachment filed against him by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) recently because of the worsening migrant crisis, also said he has requested the hiring of an additional 2,000 border agents in the 2023 budget and that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were newly focused on preventing NTRs (Notice to Return) no-shows at immigration courts.
Mayorkas also said that the administration was working to “keep Title 42” in place, which allows for the quick deportation of COVID-infected migrants. Open borders advocates have been pressuring President Joe Biden to rescind the Trump-era order.
The administration is also pressing for more flights to return illegal aliens to the interior of Mexico rather than just send them back across the border so they can “turn around and give it another try,” Mayorkas said, adding that 95,788 of the more than 212,000-plus migrants encountered in July were returned via Title 42.
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