‘Very Hard To Call That A Success’: ABC Host Grills Mayorkas On Progress At Border, Questions If Crossings Will Drop

[Screenshot/ABC/"This Week"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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ABC host Martha Raddatz grilled Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on the Biden administration’s addressing illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border Sunday, questioning if the volume of crossings will drop.

Mayorkas appeared on ABC’s “This Week” to discuss the June 4, 2024 immigration executive order from President Joe Biden which seeks to pause new asylum requests if a seven-day daily average of 2,500 is recorded, resuming when the seven-day daily average drops to 1,500. Raddatz began by questioning Mayorkas on the executive order, asking if his prediction off a the drop in numbers is “really” expected. (RELATED: ‘No Slowing Down’: Abbott Confirms There’s Been No Change At Border Since Biden’s New Policy, Says It’s ‘Accelerating’)

“President Biden said, ‘This ban will remain in place until the number of people trying to enter illegally is reduced to a level that our system can effectively manage,’ meaning, as we said, that average of 1,500 encounters or less over a period of 14 days. We said that has never happened. Do you really expect that to happen in the coming months or before Election Day?” Raddatz asked.

“Martha, it is. 1,500, an average of 1,500 individuals encountered over a seven-day consecutive period. We are driving to that and that’s not all we’re doing. We are also communicating throughout the region about the lawful pathways. We are driving people to use— ” Mayorkas said.

“But that’s something you’ve been doing all along. You’ve been trying to do that with people,” Raddatz jumped in.

Raddatz then played a 2021 interview with Mayorkas, during which the then-newly confirmed DHS secretary claimed the administration had a plan on how to address the large numbers seen at the southern border.

“‘We will succeed.’ That was three years ago. Since then, 6.5 million migrants have been apprehended along the southern border. It would be very hard to call that a success,” Raddatz said.

“Martha, remember something: that immigration, migration is a dynamic phenomenon. It’s not just us who is experiencing it throughout the region and throughout the world. Let’s recall what everyone expected when Title 42 was lifted in May of 2023: people expected pandaemonium. Our model worked, we drove the numbers down. They go down, they go up. What we need is congressional action. We cannot resource the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, the Department of Justice with additional personnel. We need Congress to legislate,” Mayorkas said.

Raddatz then raised Mayorkas’s waiting four months after Republican senators blocked a border bill in February 2024 from advancing over security regulation concerns. Mayorkas blamed the stalling of the bill on Congressional gridlock.

“Martha, the bipartisan deal was rejected once. We pressed for it again. It was rejected a second time and then we developed this and have implemented it. And we are at an early stage. And let’s not minimize the significance of this move and the significance of operationalizing it. And it requires the cooperation of other countries, which we have secured,” Mayorkas said.

As border crossings hit record-high numbers since 2021, the Biden administration has been operating a “mass amnesty” program for migrants, with over 350,000 asylum cases being closed by the U.S. government if the migrant didn’t have a criminal record or was deemed a threat, the New York Post reported, citing data from 2022.

While being questioned in May 2024 during a CBS interview, Mayorkas admitted there are migrants who are attempting to “game” the asylum system.