Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas said “no decisions have been made” as to how to tackle the end of Title 42 during a trip to El Paso — as the city is swamped with 2,400 border crossers per day, and has released 900 migrants onto the streets in two days.
During the two-day border trip, Mayorkas promised “a whole host of things” to prevent a humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border but offered few specifics, according to the El Paso Times.
“There are a lot of discussions about different ideas and how to address the number of encounters that we’re experiencing at the border,” Mayorkas told the paper, before adding “No decisions have been made.”
His comments come as 20 Republican members of Congress called for Mayorkas to be impeached when the GOP takes control of the House of Representatives in January.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who introduced articles of impeachment against President Biden’s DHS chief last year, accused him of having “released more than 1 million illegal aliens into the country,” adding: “Most of these released illegal aliens will never be heard from again.”
Mayorkas has repeatedly refused to call the situation on the border a “crisis,” instead, characterizing the current state as a “significant challenge.”
Asylum seekers who are found by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to potentially have a valid claim are allowed to stay in the country while it is evaluated — a process which can take years, with immigration courts having a backlog of 1.9 million cases.
Many had been expelled under Title 42, a policy used by the Border Patrol to kick out about 40% of all immigrants who cross the border illegally for public health reasons. A judge ruled it must expire Dec. 21, after which cities like El Paso expect to see another 2,000 additional people crossing into their territory per day.
Mayorkas visited the Paseo Del Norte Port of Entry Tuesday, less than two miles from where thousands of migrants, mostly Nicaraguans, wait in line to turn themselves over to Border Patrol.
A massive group of more than 1,500 migrants waded across the river separating Mexico from the US and crossed into El Paso Sunday night. Hundreds more have arrived every day after that.
When asked about what his message was for those who say the border is out of control, Mayorkas admitted the immigration system is broken, according to El Paso Matters.
“We see them surrendering themselves to Border Patrol to assert their claims for humanitarian relief, as our laws provide,” Mayorkas explained.
“It’s an extraordinarily powerful picture of why we need our immigration system reformed through legislation. Our asylum system is broken. Our immigration system as a whole is broken. It hasn’t been updated or reformed in more than 40 years.”
“The border communities are asking for help,” Rep. Cuellar told Fox News. “We have to change something. Just acting like if everything is okay or the border is secure, which it’s not secured, we got to do something.”
Since President Joe Biden has been in office, the border has experienced historic numbers of migrants crossing — including more than 2.4 million in the last fiscal year.