Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday defended the Biden administration's handling of unaccompanied migrant children at the border against growing criticism, saying he hopes to give families separated under President Donald Trump the option to reunite in the USA while blaming the prior administration for having "gutted" the immigration system.
Appearing in the White House briefing room, Mayorkas also took aim at the prior administration - and said the Department of Homeland Security is working to "replace the cruelty" of the Trump administration with "an orderly humane and safe immigration process".
"We need to prepare for border surges now", new Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief of staff Timothy Perry wrote in a recent email to agency leadership.
"Trustworthy information and communications technology and services are essential to our national and economic security and remains a top priority for the Biden Harris administration", the statement said.
Mayorkas said the administration "tore down" systems in place for Central American minors and "gutted" the system overall - even as he acknowledged there is now a "stressful challenge" at the border, as waves of migrants continue to try to make it into the US despite the administration's urgings. When I started 27 days ago, I learned that we did not have the facilities available or equipped to administer the humanitarian laws that our Congress passed years ago, ' Mayorkas continued.
'We did not have the personnel, policies, procedures, or training to administer those laws, Quite frankly, the entire system was gutted.
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"They cut off funding to the northern triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, ' he said". "It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty that the administration before us established", he added.
As the weather warms and border crossings become more frequent in the spring and summer, Axios reports that at least 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children are expected to come to the United States in May, giving the Biden administration just two months to sort out its plans for housing migrant minors after refusing to expel them. It takes time to rebuild the system from scratch.
Do you remember where President Joe Biden's team put those children?
"They're coming up by the tens of thousands". They're all coming to take advantage of the things that he said, that's luring everybody to come to America.
"We will now be relying on Russian Federation and the Middle East for oil", Trump claimed, adding that "the Biden policies are a massive win for other oil-producing countries and a massive loss for the United States". We'd love to help. "But we can't do that", he said.