Alejandro Mayorkas on Immigration



Humanitarian relief one of our proudest traditions

Q: What about the wave of asylum seekers?

MAYORKAS: We have seen large numbers of individuals encountered at our border making a claim for asylum, for humanitarian relief, which is a statute. That's what the law provides. We are certainly seeing a large number here in this year, but in 2019, we saw a large number. In 2014, in 2010. This is nothing new. It spans many, many years. It spans different administrations of both parties, and it speaks to the need for legislative reform.

Q: Why didn't you build a wall or a fence to stop them?

MAYORKAS: We do not agree with the building of the wall. The law provides that individuals can make a claim for humanitarian relief. That is actually one of our proudest traditions.

Gov. Greg ABBOTT: Listen, Secretary Mayorkas and even President Biden are in dereliction of duty. The US Constitution itself requires that the president and secure the sovereignty of the USA, and the Biden administration has abandoned any pretense of securing the sovereignty.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2021 joint interview Mayorkas & Abbott , Sep 26, 2021

Border migration irregular, ebbs and flows

ABBOTT: When you have an administration that has abandoned any pretense of securing the border and securing our sovereignty, you see the onrush of people like what we saw walking across this dam that is right behind me.

MAYORKAS: This is nothing new. We've seen this type of irregular migration many, many times throughout the years. I don't know if Governor Abbott said the same thing in 2019 when there were more than a million people encountered at the southern border.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2021 joint interview Mayorkas & Abbott , Sep 26, 2021

Restarting & expanding the Central American Minors program

We are encountering many unaccompanied children at our southwest border every day. A child who is under the age of 18 and not accompanied by their parent or legal guardian is considered under the law to be an unaccompanied child. We are encountering six- and seven-year-old children, for example, arriving at our border without an adult. They are vulnerable children and we have ended the prior administration's practice of expelling them.

We are restarting and expanding the Central American Minors program. It creates a lawful pathway for children to come to the United States without having to take the dangerous journey. Under this expansion, children will be processed in their home countries and brought to the United States in a safe and orderly way.

Source: DHS press release: 2021 Biden Administration , Mar 16, 2021

End forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico

Mayorkas said the Biden administration was working with "due urgency" on efforts to end a Trump-era policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which forced more than 65,000 asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait for U.S. immigration court hearings. He said, "The urgency of that cannot be overstated."
Source: Reuters on Biden Administration Press Release from dhs.gov , Feb 6, 2021

Separating children from their parents was an atrocity

Chief among these challenges is reunifying families who were separated during the last Administration. The atrocity of separating children from their parents is not easily remedied, but I pledge to do everything in my power to bring families back together and connect them with the resources they need to heal.
Source: Biden Administration Press Release from dhs.gov , Feb 2, 2021

Pass legislation to create an earned path to citizenship

President Biden signed a series of Executive Orders to help restore trust in our immigration system, re-open and reform our asylum process, secure the southwest border by addressing the root causes of migration, and reunite families separated under the Trump Administration.

It's critical that Congress build on these actions by passing the legislation proposed by President Biden to modernize our immigration system, responsibly manage our border, and create an earned path to citizenship.

Source: Biden Administration Press Release from dhs.gov , Feb 2, 2021

Border is varied; monolithic answer like wall isn't needed

Senators asked Mayorkas if he believed the border wall constructed by the Trump administration should be taken down. Mayorkas said the border "is varied, depending on the geography, depending on the specific venue, and depending on the conduct of individuals around it." He said that "we don't need nor should we have a monolithic answer to that varied and diverse challenge."
Source: NPR on DHS Secretary Confirmation Hearings , Jan 19, 2021

Would not abolish nor defund ICE; it plays a critical role

Mayorkas was asked by Sen. James Lankford if he supports defunding ICE -- something that has been a rallying cry for liberal activists in recent years. "No," Mayorkas said. He said that ICE was one of a number of agencies that plays "critical roles" and that he would not abolish. The comments by Mayorkas indicate that while the Biden administration intends to take a significantly different approach to the Trump administration, it will not go as far left as some in the party have called for.
Source: Fox News on DHS Secretary Confirmation Hearings , Jan 19, 2021

Was chief architect of DACA; opponents call this a negative

Mayorkas lacks a track record of commitment to sensible immigration enforcement. He is best known as a chief architect of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama administration's de facto amnesty that exempted from removal and granted work authorization to more than 700,000 illegal aliens, all in direct conflict with federal statutes.

Mayorkas has stated that he wants to expand DACA by softening eligibility requirements.

Source: PR NewsWire on DHS Secretary Confirmation Hearings , Jan 19, 2021

Other candidates on Immigration: Alejandro Mayorkas on other issues:
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Page last updated: Jan 02, 2022