Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday that President Joe Biden opposes building a border wall because it is "immovable."
In a "60 Minutes" interview, Mayorkas was asked if there is any measure the Biden administration will not take to secure the border, which he has claimed repeatedly is not open.
The secretary immediately targeted a border wall, a chief goal of former President Donald Trump.
"Well, the president — as I think you know very well — said we are not going to construct more wall that costs billions and billions of dollars, that is immovable, and that is already beginning to corrode," Mayorkas said.
Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, who conducted the interview, pressed Mayorkas on the point and noted that many critics of Biden said that by reversing Trump's immigration policies, Biden essentially slapped a "we're open" sign on the border.
"That's [the message] the migrants were getting," Alfonsi pushed.
Mayorkas, however, refuted the point, instead blaming migrant smugglers for "mis and disinformation."
"Remember something: that we are not the only source of messages that the migrants receive. We have smuggling organizations that exploit the migrants. And those smuggling organizations engage in mis and disinformation," he said.
Earlier in the interview, Mayorkas refused to describe the border crisis as a "crisis."
"I view it as a significant challenge," Mayorkas said.
"Why won't you say the word 'crisis?'" Alfonsi pressed.
"You know what? Because I have tremendous faith in the people of the Department of Homeland Security. And a crisis speaks to me of a withdrawal from our mission," he responded.
Whatever one calls it, even Mayorkas admitted that the number of migrants coming to the U.S. has reached an "extraordinary height."
Last fiscal year, that number topped 2 million people, with at least a half million additional "getaways," or migrants whom border officials never intercepted. Meanwhile, there have already been nearly 1 million migrant apprehensions in fiscal year 2023.
Nearly 2,000 miles of the southern border with Mexico are protected with a border wall. Biden halted construction of the border wall when he got into office but has authorized the completion of certain gaps in Arizona.
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