Department of Homeland (DHS) Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas claimed Wednesday with a straight face that the Biden administration has “effectively managed” the border crisis.
“We inherited a broken and dismantled system that is already under strain,” Mayorkas said while speaking before the House Appropriations subcommittee. “It is not built to manage the current levels and types of migratory flows. Only Congress can fix this. Yet, we have effectively managed an unprecedented number of non-citizens seeking to enter the United States.”
Mayorkas also said the administration expects “migration levels to increase” once Title 42 is lifted. (RELATED: Border Authorities Arrested 42 People On Terror Watchlist Under Biden, DHS Says)
Mayorkas then laid out the DHS’ plan to address the border crisis and impending surge. Mayorkas laid out six pillars of the “DHS Plan for Southwest Border Security and Preparedness” which include increasing personnel and transportation resources, medical support and facilities, enhancing processing efficiency, targeting drug smugglers and deterring illegal migration amongst other things.
In March alone agents arrested 209,906 people, the highest number of monthly arrests at the southern border since March of 2000. Meanwhile a record two million migrants were encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2021, and authorities confiscated $3.31 billion in counterfeit goods, more than 319,000 pounds of marijuana, over 190,000 pounds of methamphetamine and more than 97,000 pounds of cocaine in fiscal year 2021.
The Trump-era policy that allowed DHS officials to rapidly expel migrants on public health grounds was set to be lifted on May 23 but a Louisiana judge temporarily blocked the administration from ending the policy pending a hearing.
The Biden administration has received bipartisan pushback over the ending of Title 42.
“We should not end Title 42 until we have a detailed plan in place,” Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for the state’s open Senate seat as a Democrat, told Politico. “And look, we don’t only need a long-term and detailed plan here for ending Title 42, but we still need to fix our broken immigration system as a whole.”