BORDER CRISIS: DHS Secretary says admin ‘reengineered’ process for unaccompanied children

Following a visit to an immigration facility in Donna, Texas Friday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas held a press conference to announce changes in processing migrant children.

“We have reengineered the process for the treatment of unaccompanied children,” Mayorkas said. Now, instead of Border Patrol officers corralling the children, they will be sent to Health and Human Services.

“They do not belong in a Border Patrol station,” Mayorkas said. “Children belong in the shelter of Health and Human Services.”

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On March 28th, U.S. Border Patrol reported 5,767 children in their custody. These children remained in Border Patrol stations for an average of 133 hours. Later, on April 2nd, there were about 3,700 children in their custody for an average of 139 hours.

“There is unanimous agreement that our immigration system is broken reform is desperately needed,” Mayorkas admitted. But, “we’ve made tremendous progress and we will continue to make tremendous progress.”

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When asked about Title 42, the COVID-19 directive that is currently limiting the flow of migrants, Mayorkas said he doesn’t see it ending soon.

“The pandemic is not yet behind us,” he said, calling it a directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It remains in place “to protect not only the American people but the migrants themselves,” Mayorkas said. Because it is “tied to data,” Mayorkas said it’s a matter of public health standards that it will be lifted, not an executive decision.

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Mayorkas echoed President Biden’s statements, pinning the blame for the border crisis on the previous administration. “We inherited a system that had been torn down and dismantled,” Mayorkas said.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism