Secretary of Homeland Security stressed that federal authorities are treating child detainees at the border humanely
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday that the border with Mexico is “secure” and “closed,” despite the fact that thousands of migrants from Central America are entering the United States at a rate not seen in 20 years.
U.S. authorities are currently holding 15,000 children who crossed the border unaccompanied, but Mayorkas said the U.S. has a legal obligation to care for them, not to deport them back home, as it did under previous President Donald Trump.
Mallorcas said it would be untrue to claim that under Trump the children were “treated humanely.”
“The previous administration dismantled the asylum process,” he said, speaking on Fox News Channel. – “We urge families not to send their children [across the border].
But if the children end up in the U.S., he said, they will be taken care of for a few days and then sent to relatives already living in the U.S. or to vetted people willing to take care of them.
“We’re talking about vulnerable children,” he said. – We can work with them in a safe and orderly way. We will be successful.”
Individual adults and families arriving at the border are sent back to Mexico under the current U.S. immigration policy.
When President Joe Biden took office two months ago, he stopped the construction of the border wall that Trump supported and said his immigration policy would be more humane. Although he urged residents of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to stay home, his policy changes have caused thousands to make the perilous journey across Mexico to the United States.
The increase in the flow of migrants began last April, back under Trump, but it increased markedly under Biden. In February, the number of people detained at the border reached 100,000.
The migration crisis quickly became a political headache for Biden. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a critic of the administration and a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2024, told Fox News that “it was the Biden administration that ended the Trump administration’s ‘stay in Mexico’ policy.”
“The border is wide open,” Cotton said, dismissing Mallorcas’s claim that it is secure.
According to the senator, Biden has “dismantled a very effective policy of the Trump administration.”
A few days ago, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led a delegation of Republican lawmakers to the border to denounce Biden’s policies.
“This crisis is caused by the presidential policies of the new administration,” McCarthy said. – You can’t call it anything other than a Biden border crisis.