In a surprising admission, the Biden administration’s top border official admitted earlier this month in private conversations that “if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose, and this is unsustainable.”
The comment contradicted what Mayorkas said just a day prior to that the growing surge of people from around the world was “not new.” “There's a lot of frustration, and with reason,” said Monica Weisberg-Stewart, the chairwoman of the Texas Border Coalition’s Committee on Border Security and Immigration.
The Texas Border Coalition, an organization of mayors, county judges, corporations, and communities along the 1,250-mile state border with Mexico, is very troubled over the Biden administration and its focus on its long-term policy changes that may stem the flow of people traveling to the border but has not done enough in the short-term.
TBC asked the Biden administration to pause all immigration at the southern border, which she characterized as a “drastic” move for the organization and indicative of how worried border communities are by the daily releases of thousands of migrants onto the streets.
Mayorkas did not pause immigration, but instead pledged to hire 2,000 asylum officers so that migrants’ asylum claims can be decided at the border and not years after they have been released into the United States and appear before a judge. Weisberg-Stewart said it was not enough.
“He wanted to hire 2,000 asylum officers. Get the ones that are already in our system that already know how to do this — get them down there now, yesterday. Get ‘em down there and start working on it because you don't have anywhere to put these individuals,” she said, referring to migrants released from custody.
Theresa Cardinal Brown, the managing director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank in Washington, mentioned the administration’s hands are tied to the extent that they cannot even control who is arriving. However, the federal response has been less than minimal as monthly illegal immigration levels surpassed even those seen during the 2019 humanitarian crisis.
A White House official said the government is continuing to return those who cross illegally to Mexico under a public health policy (Title 42). Despite that, the administration is not returning most families due to Mexico’s unwillingness to cooperate.
The Supreme Court attempted to force the Biden administration’s hand and ordered Biden earlier this week to reinstate the Migration Protection Protocols, a program that forced all asylum-seekers to live in Mexico until their day in U.S. court.