Mayorkas’s remarks came during a private meeting with Border Patrol agents in Texas around the same time he announced that roughly 213,000 people were encountered attempting to cross the border illegally in July. Encounters stood at 74,000 in December 2020, weeks before Biden took office. They surpassed 172,000 in March, 178,000 in April, 180,000 in June, and 188,000 in July as Biden eased immigration restraints.
“A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said look, you know, ‘If, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose, and this is unsustainable,'” Mayorkas said in leaked audio obtained by Fox News. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue, and our system isn’t built for it.”
The DHS boss insisted the border situation “cannot continue” as he said he was aware that certain areas came close to “breaking” points.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that that never happens again,” he reportedly told the agents.
However, during his public announcement Thursday regarding July’s migrant totals, Mayorkas insisted the surge of people at the southern border “is not new” as he downplayed previous monthly numbers.
“We are encountering an unprecedented number of migrants in between the ports of entry at our southern border,” Mayorkas said during a press conference in Brownsville, Texas. “We have seen the surges in migration before. We’ve seen them in the past, and migration surges are not new.”
At the private meeting, an agent offered Mayorkas advice regarding how to halt the surge.
“For those of us who have been around here long enough … we don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” one agent purportedly told Mayorkas. “We’ve had this happen before. We know exactly how to shut it down. We need to make illegal entry illegal.”
President Joe Biden’s administration has suggested the migration surge was “seasonal.” However, border authorities insist total crossings should be dwindling amid a summer heat wave that would make the journey exponentially more arduous.
Chad Wolf, a visiting fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and the former acting DHS secretary, blamed Biden for rescinding Trump-era policies and prompting the influx of migrants.
“The Obama administration famously believed 1,000 apprehensions a day constituted a crisis, and we’ve now hit seven times that number,” Wolf said in a statement. “This administration must be held accountable for its failed border strategy, and Congress must reject amnesty as part of the infrastructure debate currently raging in the House and Senate.”