Mayorkas blames Trump administration for current border crisis
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday blamed the Trump administration for the current border crisis as thousands of migrant children remain in subpar facilities.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mayorkas acknowledged that the border facilities are “no place for a child.”
“What we are doing is addressing the humanitarian needs of those children in a way that reflects our values and our principles as a country,” Mayorkas said.
On Saturday, it was reported that more than 15,000 migrant children are in U.S. custody. These children are reportedly spending on average more than 136 hours in U.S. custody, surpassing the legal limit of 72 hours.
Host Dana Bash on Sunday pressed Mayorkas on the reported conditions at the border facilities, noting that hundreds of minors have remained in them for longer periods than is legally acceptable.
“Dana, we will not abandon our values and our principles, we will not abandon the needs of vulnerable children. That is what this is all about,” Mayorkas responded. “And it is difficult because the entire system was dismantled by the prior administration. There was a system in place in both Republican and Democratic administrations, that was torn down during the Trump administration, and that is why the challenge is more acute than it ever has been before”
“We are rebuilding the orderly systems that the Trump administration tore down to avoid the need for these children to actually take the perilous journey,” Mayorkas added.
During a separate appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Mayorkas said the Trump administration dismantled a “safe and orderly immigration system.”
“It takes time because the entire system was dismantled,” he said.
On ABC’s “This Week,” he added that there was not “the ordinary, safe, and just transition from one administration to another.”
Mayorkas was also asked on CNN when journalists would be permitted inside the facilities, with Bash pointing out that the prior administration had allowed reporters to go inside border facilities.
“We are in the midst of a pandemic, we are dealing with crowded Border Patrol facilities, we are focused on our operations and the needs of the children and at the same time, we are working to provide access to those border patrol facilities when we can do so in a safe manner,” Mayorkas said.
–John Bowden and Mychael Schnell contributed to this report.
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