The Biden administration may finally be coming around to acknowledging that the problems at America’s southern border are real and getting worse. It remains to be seen whether any genuine policy changes will result from this.
In private discussions earlier this month, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said that “the conditions on the border are unsustainable.” He also stated that “if the border is the country’s first line of defense, then we are going to lose.”
Earlier that day, the top border security officer issued contradictory public statements, claiming that the increased number of illegal migrants seeking to enter the United States is not new.
The Texas Border Coalition (TBC) is an organization of public officials and private groups along the Texas-Mexico border. Chairwoman Monica Weisberg-Stewart expressed the TBC’s concern and frustration with the Biden administration’s failure to address short-term solutions to the current border crisis.
She said that the TBC previously requested the administration to pause all southern border immigration due to the ongoing release of thousands of illegal immigrants into Texas communities.
In response, Mayorkas rejected the request to pause all immigration. Still, he promised to hire at least 2,000 more border officials to manage asylum claims made by migrants with no entry paperwork or authorization.
Weisberg-Stewart has said that new asylum officers would not help very much, considering that many officers already trained in the system have not been deployed to the southern border.
The Biden White House has said that the federal government still works to return illegal crossers to Mexico. However, the administration added that families are not being returned to Mexico because the Mexican government refuses to accept migrants from other countries.
The United States Supreme Court ruled last week that the Biden administration must restart the “Return to Mexico” policy during the Trump administration. Under the Trump-era program, migrants seeking legal asylum must be returned to Mexico until the date of the hearing on their application in U.S. federal court.
The Biden administration’s policies have made exceptions for people seeking asylum, so they are not compelled to return to their place of origin right away. Because of a lack of space to hold applicants pending their court dates, thousands have been released into the U.S. while awaiting their hearing.