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‘Not The Way To Achieve Relief’: Biden’s DHS Chief Attempts To Dissuade Migrants As The Border Gets Overwhelmed

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pleaded with migrants Tuesday to not trust smugglers who offer to bring them into the country, even as they cross illegally in droves.

“Do not place your lives in the hands of individuals who only seek to exploit your lives for the sake of profit. We are building safe, orderly and humane pathways to access the benefits that the law provides and that Congress has passed,” Mayorkas said during a border trip to McAllen, Texas. “But, traveling from one country to another in the hands of smugglers only to be met by the enforcement authorities of the United States government is not the way to achieve relief. The laws of the border will be enforced.” (RELATED: Migrants Bused To DC Don’t Stay There. Here’s Where They’re Going) 

Southern border authorities encountered 234,088 migrants in April, 117,989 of which were released into the country. DHS is preparing for an influx of migrants in the coming months with the anticipation of Title 42’s expected end, expanding the capacity of its facilities to be able to hold 18,000 migrants at a time.

The Biden administration prioritized undoing a number of Trump-era immigration policies upon taking office and is still attempting to reverse a policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” which forces certain migrants to await court proceedings in Mexico.

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Mayorkas’ border visit comes ahead of the expected end of Title 42, the pandemic public health order used to quickly expel migrants, on May 23. A judge is expected to announce his decision in a case presented by Republican attorneys general, who say now is not the time to reverse the order, according to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

“If one does not qualify for relief, one will be removed. The smugglers peddle misinformation. We see the misinformation that they peddle. That Title 42, for example, does not apply to certain populations. That information is false,” Mayorkas said. “You place your life savings in the hands of exploitative individuals, you put your lives at risk based on the misinformation that they peddle to you, only for you to be expelled, only for you to be removed under the laws. If you have a claim for relief, of course the laws provide that that relief will prevail, but so many do not qualify and so many are harmed en route.”

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