Mayorkas urges passage of border security bill, says Biden admin has enforced the law since 'day one'

Mayorkas urges passage of border security bill, says Biden admin has enforced the law since 'day one'

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas welcomed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's decision to move forward with a second attempt at passing a bipartisan border security bill that was defeated in both the House and Senate earlier this year.

Mayorkas told Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto Tuesday on "Your World" that the bill would "deliver for us changes to 30-year-old laws that are incredibly needed." 

"We're dealing with a terrifically broken asylum system and [this] would deliver for us resources at a level that we desperately need, that we do not have," he said. 

Schumer told his Democratic colleagues in a letter obtained by Politico that the Senate would take up the Border Act as a stand-alone measure later this week. 

The test vote will need 60 yeas on a motion to break a filibuster to begin debate on the bill, but it is widely expected to fail, according to Fox News senior congressional correspondent Chad Pergram.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., released a joint statement on Monday saying the bill would be "dead on arrival" if it were to reach the House.

"For more than three years now, Congressional Democrats have stood by while the Biden Administration has opened our borders to criminal drug cartels, terrorists, and untold millions of illegal immigrants. Now, Leader Schumer is trying give his vulnerable members cover by bringing a vote on a bill which has already failed once in the Senate because it would actually codify many of the disastrous Biden open border policies that created this crisis in the first place," the statement read in part. 

Mayorkas said the border bill is a "needed outcome" and that he wouldn’t stop advocating for it or "lose hope." 

"The American people deserve and need it. The United States Border Patrol deserve and need it. The United States Border Patrol Union supported this legislation. I am going to continue to push for it," he explained. 

Mayorkas defended the Biden administration’s border policies, saying they took action "a long time ago" but they "take time to take hold." 

"You know, we built, capabilities, in foreign countries, in, Guatemala, in Costa Rica, in Mexico as well. And sometimes they don't develop overnight. They take time to mature. And we continue to take action within the confines of our authorities," he added. "We need Congress to act." 

The Biden administration has been criticized by Republican lawmakers for rolling back several Trump-era border policies like "Remain in Mexico" and the Asylum Cooperative Agreements, which suspended asylum agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. 

Migrant encounters at the southern border have skyrocketed under President Biden along with the number of "known gotaways." 

A Fox News FOIA request with U.S. Customs and Border Protection revealed there were 1.6 million "known gotaways" from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2023. In the decade of FY 2010 through FY 2020, under former Presidents Obama and Trump, authorities recorded more than 1.4 million "known gotaways."

Mayorkas maintained the Biden administration has been "enforcing the law from day one, despite the political rhetoric" and urged the American public to "look at the history of migration rather than take political snapshots."

The DHS secretary pointed to low migration numbers at the southern border in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lure of economic opportunities for migrants in the United States. 

"We still have approximately 8 million vacant jobs in the United States that American workers are not filling. And so, therefore, our asylum system, which is fundamentally broken, presents an opportunity for them to remain here for too long," he told Cavuto. "Despite that, within the authorities [sic] that we have, we have returned or removed more people in the last 12 months than in any full fiscal year. And we're using our legal muscle more aggressively than it has been in the past."

"The Senate must pass the legislation."


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