‘We’ve got a handle on it’: DHS sec says agency been preparing since Sept for Title 42 lift, 18K migrants per day

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(Video: CNN)

Days after his testimony before Congress where he was shredded by Republican lawmakers over the disaster at the nation’s southern border, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was back on friendly ground, appearing on CNN where he was handled with kid gloves, just as all Democrats are.

The embattled Mayorkas talked with host Dana Bash on Sunday morning’s edition of “State of the Union” where he discussed the imminent lifting of Title 42, the emergency health order put into place by former President Donald J. Trump to mitigate the spread of COVID and kept in place by his successor Joe Biden who under political pressure from activists in an election year, moved to rescind it.

Bash kicked off the interview by asking about DHS estimates on the number of illegal immigrants that are expected to swarm the border once the order is lifted, pointing out the fact that the number of around 7,000 migrants who are currently apprehended on a daily basis which is already the highest in years and that according to his agency’s projections, that number could more than double to 18,000.

“Is that number really possible, and are you prepared if so? asked Bash, opening the floor to the DHS boss.

“What we do is we prepare and we plan, and we’ve been doing so for months understanding that the Title 42 authority that the CDC holds is not going to be around forever because, quite frankly, we want to conquer the pandemic and put it behind us,” Mayorkas replied.

“And remember, Title 42 is a public health authority,” he added. “So what we started to do in September of last year was prepare for its end and we’re not projecting 18,000, but what we do in the department is we plan for different scenarios, so we’re ready for anything that might materialize.”

Following up, Bash asked the estimate was put out by the department that he is in charge of and whether DHS is “prepared to handle that very large figure if in fact that comes to pass?”

“It is our responsibility to be prepared for different scenarios, and that is what we are doing, and we have incredibly talented and dedicated people,” Mayorkas replied. “There is no question that if in fact we reach that number, that is going to be an extraordinary strain on our system, ”but we are preparing for it and is why the plan we have prepared calls for a number of different actions, not just in the domestic arena but also with our partners to the south.”

Also on Sunday morning, Mayorkas told “Fox News Sunday” that DHS has been preparing for the lifting of Title 42 since last September and there is no reason worry, “We’ve got a handle on it.”

For Mayorkas, being among media friendlies was likely a huge relief after Thursday’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee where he was shredded by Republicans including ranking member Jim Jordan of Ohio who opined that the border crisis must be intentional.

He also engaged in a testy exchange with Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida whose relentless prodding of Mayorkas rankled the smug bureaucrat.

The lifting of Title 42 is only going to worsen the humanitarian crisis that has come as a result of Biden’s open borders policies and while a brief reprieve has come courtesy of a federal judge who has temporarily kept the order in place, the floodgates could soon be opened with Mayorkas having done little to shore up confidence in the ability to handle the coming disaster and interviews with toothless CNN personalities isn’t going to cut it with most Americans.


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Chris Donaldson


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