Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who has previously declined to term the crisis at the US-Mexico border a crisis, has begged potential migrants just not to come north.
Mayorkas addressed would-be immigrants, urging people to just not come. DHS policy, however, states that all children under 18 who arrive at the border unaccompanied by adults will be admitted to the US. All those who are seeking asylum will be admitted, even if they have not been granted that asylum or have filed a case to do so.
Speaking to George Stephanopolous, Mayorakas said that "The border is secure. The United States Border Patrol secures the border on behalf of the American people. That's what we do. And we are doing it.
"In order to keep the American public safe in the time of pandemic, we are expelling families under the CDC's authority, we are expelling single adults, and what we are doing is addressing young children who come to the border who make claims under humanitarian laws that our country has established years and years ago.
"And we are building the capacity to address the needs of those children when they arrive but we are also and critically sending an important message that now is not the time to come to the border," Moyorkas said.
He told a story about finding three young children, under the age of 10, who had crossed the border on their own. Mayorkas said that these children were welcomed into the US and provided food and shelter via DHS. The children will be then turned over to some sort of sponsors who will care for them.
"Their mother didn't make it," he said, and warned others not to take the "dangerous journey," even though by the admission of DHS that journey will result in their children being granted entry and comfort in the US.
"Give us time," he said to those potential illegal immigrants who would risk life and limb to provide a better life for themselves and their children in the US, "to build an order safe way to arrive in the United States and make the claims that the law permits you to make."
This indicates that at some point, DHS and the US will be prepared for a massive uptick in immigrants arriving at the southern border, or that Mayorkas thinks there is something DHS and the Biden administration can do to make it so that people don't want to come to the US.
Stephanopolous pointed out that the message "don't come" does not appear to be getting through.
The Biden administration plans to turn a convention center in downtown Dallas into a mass holding facility for 3.000 migrant teenagers, which will be a "decompression center" for males aged 15 to 17.
Border Patrol will have to hold children for longer periods because the Health and Human Services Department has long since run out of space.
In February, officials say that over 100,000 migrants came to the US-Mexico border, demanding to be let in, many saying that Biden had promised change in the US immigration policy.
"Biden promised us that everything was going to change," one woman said when interviewed. "Biden promised us," repeated another, with her eyes full of tears.
Earlier in March, Mayorkas said "We are not saying don't come, we are saying don't come now, because we will be able to deliver safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible." Mayorkas said that would-be immigrations should wait "with a goal in mind."
Mayorkas said they would not be "expelling children to Mexico... whose loving parents have sent them alone... when that child's country of origin" is Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador.
When asked about how the administration is telling people not to come, Mayorkas said that they were working with Central American governments to get the word out, and that this "does work to a degree."