Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas bent over backward Friday to prevent himself from admitting that the border crisis is, in fact, a "crisis."
What is the background?
Mayorkas has a history of downplaying the seriousness of the border crisis.
Despite a record number of migrants entering the U.S. under President Joe Biden's leadership, Mayorkas has repeatedly said throughout his tenure as DHS secretary that the border is "not open" but "closed."
What happened on CNN?
During an interview on "CNN This Morning," anchor Poppy Harlow directly asked Mayorkas whether what is happening at the border qualifies as a "crisis."
But Mayorkas refused to acknowledge it as such.
"You know, we have seen the situation at the border managed in an orderly way," he claimed. "We have seen it in extraordinary challenging circumstances as well. You can rest assured, Poppy, that we're doing everything that we possibly can to build a system that provides humanitarian relief in a safe and orderly way, while trying to persuade Congress to fix what is a broken system."
His refusal, however, only emboldened Harlow to press the issue further.
"But just what you're seeing, what you've seen the 20 times you've been there — the record number of migrants at the southern border — and last year it was nearly 2.4 million," she responded.
"If that's not a crisis, Secretary, what is?" she asked point-blank.
Mayorkas, in response, claimed the border crisis is a global issue that is "reflective of the greatest level of displacement of people in the world since World War II."
"It is reflective of a migration challenge that is gripping the entire hemisphere," he alleged.
"When I was in Colombia, I spoke with the president of the country, the foreign minister, the minister of security, and they spoke of 2.4 million Venezuelans in Columbia now. We're seeing Costa Rica's population increasingly formed by Nicaraguans," he continued. "We're seeing a tremendous movement of people throughout the hemisphere.
"A regional challenge requires a regional solution, which is why President Biden has led the regional leaders in addressing it," Mayorkas defended.
Despite Biden announcing new immigration plans to finally address the border crisis — including the expansion of Title 42 expulsions — Mayorkas once again claimed on Thursday that the border "is not open."