Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas privately told Border Patrol agents recently that the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is "unsustainable" and that "we're going to lose" if the influx continues and the "borders are the first line of defense."
The secretary's desperate message to immigration enforcement officials was reportedly recorded in secret by a Border Patrol agent and obtained by Fox News this week.
"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," Mayorkas said. "We can't continue like this, our people in the field can't continue and our system isn't built for it."
Mayorkas reportedly told the agents that the current situation at the border "cannot continue" and added that the federal government's system was not designed to handle such an influx of migrants.
Agents encountered migrants at the border a whopping 210,000 times in the month of July, the highest monthly number reported in over two decades. The number of unaccompanied migrant children stopped by agents hit an all-time high.
The secretary reportedly expressed empathy for the agents and said he was "very well" aware that the sector recently came close to "breaking."
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"It's our responsibility to make sure that that never happens again," he said while adding, "The extent of the challenge should not be understated, but nor should our ability to meet it."
Mayorkas reportedly assured agents that his department was working on solutions to the crisis, such as preventing NTRs (notice to return) no-shows at Immigration Court and increasing expulsion flights to the interior of Mexico.
He added that the Biden administration is working to retain Title 42 — a Trump-era rule instituted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that allows DHS to expel many single adults and families without offering the chance to seek asylum.
But for many the assurances undoubtedly rang hollow. Since the start of Biden's term, unprecedented numbers of migrants have surged the border in anticipation of lenient treatment from officials and easy access into the country — and they have received it.
News broke last month that catch-and-release is alive and well under the Biden administration, as at least 50,000 migrants have been released directly into the U.S. without being given court dates. Furthermore, out of the ones who are given dates, only 13% have actually shown up in court. Meanwhile, scores of migrants are reportedly continuing to be bused and released to various locations within the U.S.
"For those of us who have been around here long enough ... we don't need to reinvent the wheel," one agent reportedly told Mayorkas. "We've had this happen before. We know exactly how to shut it down. We need to make illegal entry illegal."