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Government employees asked to take paid leave to help with migrant surge at the border: report

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As an unprecedented number of migrants continue to cross the southern border into the U.S., the government is reportedly offering employees paid leave in exchange for volunteering at migrant facilities.

The New York Times reported that agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and NASA, are urging their employees to take a temporary leave of absence in order to help out at the southern border.

Employees reportedly received an email last week stating: “Will you consider taking a four-month paid leave from your job to help care for migrant children in government-run shelters packed with new arrivals at the border?”

Ken Klippenstein, a reporter for The Intercept, obtained a copy of an email NASA sent to their employees. According to the email, Health and Human Services (HHS) requested candidates to serve up to a 120-day “voluntary deployment” to provide care for unaccompanied migrant children, including finding placements for children in foster care.

The email noted that this temporary position is a “reimbursable detail” that provides travel, lodging and per diem.

The Times reported that 2,722 government employees volunteered as of Friday, with most of their salaries being picked up by the Health Department.

Nearly 19,000 unaccompanied migrant children entered the U.S. border custody in March — an all time high.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Immigration

DHS Secretary Mayorkas Says We Cannot Remove ‘11 Million Undocumented Individuals’ Unlawfully in U.S.

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DHS Secretary Mayorkas

Troubling details were unearthed during the questioning of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas by the Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Grassley asked Mayorkas about a DHS memo from September 30 which reads: “The fact an individual is a removable noncitizen will not alone be the basis of an enforcement action against them.”

“Does that reasoning apply to the [1.2] million illegal immigrants who have received due process and been given a final order of removal by an immigration judge?” Grassley asked Mayorkas.

“We cannot remove 1.2 million individuals, nor can we remove more than 11 million undocumented individuals, individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States, who might not have final orders of removal” Mayorkas answered.

Mayorkas also stated that he had issued the due process policy after drawing on “tremendous experience not only as a member of the Department of Homeland Security but as a federal prosecutor.”

Grassley pressed Mayorkas, asking, “should any of them be removed?”

“Of course,” Mayorkas said. “I do believe that individuals who pose a public safety threat, who pose a national security threat, who pose a border security threat, should be removed, and we should be smart and effective in our use of resources, and we should focus on the well-being of our communities and prioritize individuals for removal.”

In his opening statements, Grassley addressed Mayorkas and stated, “When you allow the ACLU and open-borders immigration activists rather than career law enforcement professionals to dictate the terms of your immigration and border policies, then you shouldn’t be surprised when record-shattering numbers of people start showing up at the border to take advantage of that.”

Grassley continued, “When you run DHS like it’s an ‘Abolish ICE’ fan club, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have an illegal immigration crisis on your hands.”

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