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Tipsheet

Mayorkas Has a New Definition for 'Secure Border'

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday did not take responsibility for the border crisis, instead shifting blame to Congress for what he called a “broken immigration system.”

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During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” ahead of what is expected to be a massive surge at the border when Title 42 ends on May 11, Mayorkas called for “legislative reform,” pointing to the more than 2 million asylum cases in the backlog.

“[More] resources will enable us to move more quickly, more efficiently within a broken immigration system,” he said. “So, I just want to be clear that we are working within significant constraints. We need people; we need technology; we need facilities; we need transportation resources—all of the elements of addressing the needs of a large population of people arriving irregularly at our southern border.”

He went on to tout the agency’s work despite the hurdles before it. 

“Within the constraints of a broken immigration system, we are doing so much,” he said. “Our approach is to build lawful pathways, cut out the ruthless smugglers, deliver lawful pathways so people can access humanitarian relief without having to take the dangerous journey from their home countries. And at the same time, if they arrive at our southern border in between ports of entry, we will deliver consequences.”

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Todd then asked how Mayorkas defined “secure border.”

“In the context in which we are working,” he began, “it is maximizing the resources that we have available to us to deliver the most effective results.”

That response did not sit well with critics, who argued it was more "word salad" from Biden administration officials. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered an interpretation. 


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