Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced to the world that the United States will not expel unaccompanied minors who travel to the border and emphasized that "we will care for them."
During an interview on "CBS This Morning," Mayorkas proclaimed that the Biden administration had reinstituted the Central American minors program, an Obama-era immigration policy that allowed parents who are lawfully present in the U.S. to request refugee status for their children who are living in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The Trump administration ended the program in 2017.
Mayorkas noted that despite the minors program being reinstated, some minors may attempt to enter the country illegally, "We well understand that out of desperation, some children might not wait."
"Some loving parents might send their child to traverse Mexico alone to reach the southern border — our southern border," Mayorkas said.
"I hope they don't undertake that perilous journey," Mayorkas said. "But if they do, we will not expel that young child. We will care for that young child and unite that child with a responsible parent."
"That is who we are as a nation and we can do it," he added.
Biden's DHS Secretary Mayorkas tells migrant parents “we will not expel” your child if sent here alone… https://t.co/Zd8oHovrt9— RNC Research (@RNC Research) 1616075008.0
In another interview this week, Mayorkas told migrants not to come to the U.S. now, but later.
"We are building the capacity to address the needs of [unaccompanied migrant] children when they arrive, but we are also, and critically, sending an important message that now is not the time to come to the border," Moyorkas explained during a "Good Morning America" interview on Tuesday.
"Give us time to build an orderly, safe way to arrive in the United States and make the claims that the law permits you to make," he told ABC host George Stephanopoulos. "Do not come now. Give us time to rebuild the system that was entirely dismantled in the prior administration."
Mayorkas admitted this week that the U.S. government is "on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years," a statement that was echoed by a senior official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Earlier this month, Mayorkas reportedly sent an email to DHS staff requesting volunteers to assist in the "overwhelming" number of migrants at the U.S. border.
The Biden administration is searching for answers to the growing border crisis. A New York Times report stated that the Biden administration is putting pressure on Mexico to curb the overflow of immigrants traveling to the U.S. southern border.
President Joe Biden and his administration have been criticized for the handling of the border crisis, which has seen migrant facilities swell by as much as 729% capacity, where children reportedly take turns sleeping on floors and are allowed one shower per week.
A Washington Post report revealed that "the new administration was holding record numbers of unaccompanied migrant teens and children in detention cells for far longer than legally allowed and federal health officials fell further behind in their race to find space for them in shelters."
Despite the enormous surge of illegal immigrants and facilities being overwhelmed, Mayorkas has refused to call the current situation a "crisis." During a House hearing on Wednesday, Republican Rep. John Katko asked Mayorkas if the situation on the southern border is a "crisis."
"Mr. Ranking Member, I'm not spending any time on the language that we use," Mayorkas replied. "I am spending time on operational response to the situation at the border."