“The message is quite clear: do not come. The border is closed, the border is secure,” Mayorkas told ABC on Sunday, in one of numerous interviews which saw the official facing questions about the state of the US-Mexico border.
Mayorkas specifically said they are “encouraging children not to come,” as reports indicate there are over 15,000 migrant minors being held in US custody at the moment. Thousands of those are in border patrol custody, which is not equipped to handle such numbers, leading many minors to be held beyond the federally mandated 72-hour period.
“Now is not the time to come. Do not come, the journey is dangerous. We are building safe, orderly, and humane ways to address the needs of vulnerable children. Do not come,” he said.
Despite his seeming acknowledgement of the crisis – a term the secretary still insists is “not applicable” – Mayorkas insisted the current administration is capable of handling the influx of migrants, but he says they need “time” to fix a system supposedly broken by the Trump administration.
“We are rebuilding the orderly systems that the Trump administration tore down to avoid the need for these children to actually take the perilous journey,” he said in a separate Sunday interview, though he did not specify what exactly was “torn down” or being rebuilt.
Mayorkas’ messaging echoes that of President Joe Biden earlier in the week as he also urged migrants to pause any plans to make the journey to the southern border of the US.
“I can say quite clearly, don’t come over,” the president said on Tuesday. “Don’t leave your town, or city, or community.”
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