Mayorkas Admits Some Migrants ‘Try To Game’ The Asylum System

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Jason Hopkins Immigration Reporter
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Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted that some migrants try to take advantage of the U.S. asylum system.

Mayorkas acknowledged during an interview with CBS News that there are migrants who are out to “game” the asylum system. He also argued that a border bill killed by House Republicans would have helped the situation by “[equipping] us with more tools to deal with those individuals who seek to game the system” and “drive traffic to our ports of entry in an orderly way.”

“The reality is that some people do indeed try to game the system,” Mayorkas told CBS News on May 23. “That does not speak to everyone whom we encounter, but there is an element of it, and we deal with it accordingly.”

Mayorkas has argued for more resources to speed up asylum claims and has been reluctant in the past to describe the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border as a “crisis.” (RELATED: ICE Points To Biden Admin Policy As Reason Illegal Immigrant Accused Of Murdering Teen Was Out Free)

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 18: U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing on the department’s budget request on Capitol Hill on April 18, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

The admission comes as the southern border crisis continues and the issue remains a top concern for voters.

Border Patrol encountered 128,884 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in April, according to the latest Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. While these numbers represent a drop compared to the 183,921 encounters seen in April 2023, the total encounters under the Biden administration remain high.

There were 2 million migrant encounters in fiscal year 2023, and Border Patrol has encountered 1.1 million so far in fiscal year 2024, according to CBP data.

Republicans have tried to hold Mayorkas accountable for the incredibly high encounters. The GOP-led House impeached the DHS chief in February, but the Democrat-controlled Senate dismissed those impeachment charges in April.

Former President Donald Trump spoke about foreign nationals “gaming” the asylum system during his presidential tenure.

“As human smugglers and traffickers have learned how the game is played and how to game the system, we have witnessed a staggering 1,700 [percent] increase in asylum claims since the year 2010,” Trump said in November 2018. “They understand the law better than the lawyers understand the law.”

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