Biden DHS Secretary: US Will Not Expel Unaccompanied Minors at Border
Alejandro Mayorkas remarks come amid reports of 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the United States would not expel unaccompanied minors at the southern border.
Mayorkas remarks come after reports there are 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children in federal custody.
CBS News reported children are “being held an average of 120 hours in Border Patrol facilities."
Mayorkas was asked when migrants could travel to the US after Biden told them not to come.
"In weeks, in several months," Mayorkas said.
"We will expand the legal processes that we have already started to rebuild."
"We already have reinstitute the Central American Minors program that was built in the Obama-Biden administration, and that was torn down by the prior administration."
The Department of Homeland Security warned this week that the U.S. is on pace to see its largest wave of migrants in two decades.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 18, 2021
DHS Secretary @AliMayorkas joins us to discuss the surge and the Biden administration's plans for handling it. pic.twitter.com/F935jssM6m
"But we well understand that out of desperation, some children might not wait. Some loving parents might send their child to traverse Mexico alone to reach the southern border — our southern border."
"I hope they don't undertake that perilous journey," Mayorkas said.
"But if they do, we will not expel that young child."
"We will care for that young child and unite that child with a responsible parent."
"That is who we are are a nation and we can do it."
Customs and Border Protection said in a statement:
"DHS has continued our close coordination with HHS as it increases its capacity to care for unaccompanied minors and place them with sponsors."
"Our goal is to ensure that CBP has the continued capability to quickly and efficiently transfer unaccompanied minors after they are apprehended to HHS custody, as is required by U.S. law, and as is clearly in the best interest of the children."
Mayorkas has denied the situation at the border was a crisis and recently asked DHS staff to volunteer to help CBP at the border because of overwhelming numbers.
"Today, I activated the Volunteer Force to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as they face a surge in migration along the Southwest Border," Mayorkas said in an email to staff, seen by Fox News.
"You have likely seen the news about the overwhelming numbers of migrants seeking access to this country along the Southwest Border," he said.
"President Biden and I are committed to ensuring our Nation has a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system while continuing to balance all of the other critical DHS missions."