Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas addressed Title 42 expiring during a press conference on Wednesday and said that the number of illegal crossings happening at the US/Southern border is due to outdated federal policy, according to the Daily Mail.
"I cannot overemphasize that our current situation is the outcome of Congress leaving a broken, outdated immigration system in place for over two decades," Mayorkas said.
"Our overall approach is to build lawful pathways for people to come to the United States and to impose tougher consequences on those who choose not to use those pathways," Mayorkas explained. "We are taking this approach within the constraints of a broken immigration system that Congress has not fixed for more than two decades."
Secretary Mayorkas touched on the record-breaking number of daily illegal crossings, which Border Patrol says has reached 10,000, Fox News reported. That number is expected to increase following the expiration of Title 42, the Trump-era policy instituted under Covid that granted Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security officials the ability to expel illegal immigrants over health concerns.
"We are clear-eyed about the challenges we are likely to face in the days and weeks ahead, which have the potential to be very difficult," Mayorkas continued. "Even after nearly two years of preparation, we expect to see large numbers of encounters at our southern border in the days and weeks after May 11."
In a last-ditch effort to curb the chaos at the border, the Biden administration implemented a new rule on Wednesday that grants border patrol agents the authority to expel migrants who have not claimed asylum in other countries through which they traveled, like Mexico.
"We are finalizing a new rule to encourage individuals to use available lawful, safe and orderly pathways to enter the United States. The rule presumes that those who do not use lawful pathways to enter the United States are ineligible for asylum," Mayorkas said.
The DHS Secretary is not the only Biden administration official to blame the failures at the border on Congress.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blamed the crisis on Congressional Republicans that "refused" to act on Biden's immigration bill.
"And Congress, Republicans in Congress, in particular, refuse, they literally refuse to act," she said on Wednesday. "They refuse to come to the middle and meet us at the middle and come up with a real solution."
On Wednesday, US Congress debated House Republicans' sweeping border reform bill during the Judicial Committee hearing. Although, H.R. 2 reportedly will not garner enough votes and Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin announced that he will be introducing a bipartisan bill on Thursday with the hope that the two parties will come to an agreement, according to Daily Mail.
Title 42 was invoked over 2.5 million times on the basis of preventing the spread of Covid by illegal immigrants crossing into the US.
Biden's border crisis has seen a record-breaking number of illegal immigrants pour over the border, with 2,378,944 encounters with illegal immigrants reported in the 2022 fiscal year and 1,659,206 reported in FY 2021.
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