The White House is adamant it is prepared for Title 42, a pseudo-immigration federal authority that has been used to expel migrants expeditiously, to be rolled back.
“We are cleareyed about the challenges that we are likely to face in the days and weeks ahead, and we are ready to meet them,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters Thursday. “Our plan will deliver results. It will take time for those results to be fully realized.”
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Mayorkas reminded immigrants “our borders are not open” and not to “risk your life and your life savings only to be removed from the United States if and when you arrive here” under Title 8, a separate federal authority. He also noted more than 665,000 people have been deported in the first half of the fiscal year.
“We are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws,” he said. “We are doing everything possible to enforce those laws in a safe, orderly, and humane way.”
But Mayorkas repeated it was Congress’s responsibility “to pass immigration reform that everyone agrees and understands is desperately needed.”
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“This is an ongoing challenge that has, quite frankly, vexed this country for decades,” he said. “We are working with an immigration system that was last updated in the 1990s.”
Mayorkas underscored the administration’s law enforcement campaign against human trafficking smugglers, including surging resources to the border, though he predicted, “We could see very crowded Border Patrol facilities.” He emphasized, too, how “diplomacy is a key pillar of our effort,” ramping up migrant return flights to countries such as Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador, in addition to regional processing centers that have not been set up yet.