Biden DHS Secretary to Illegal Immigrants: “We’re Not Saying ‘Don’t Come,’ We’re Saying ‘Don’t Come Now'”

Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, appeared at Monday’s White House press briefing to give an overview of what he and the DHS are doing to “replace the cruelty” of the Trump administration’s immigration processes and to take questions from reporters.

In response to a reporter’s question about how he was going to rebuild the DHS and reunite families, Mayorkas began by saying that they are “progressing every single day” on building a system to accept “asylum seekers”—read: illegal immigrants—through ports of entry.

We are progressing every single day. I don’t have a particular timeline, but all I can do is communicate, both to the American public and to the individuals seeking protection, that we are working around the clock seven days a week to make that timeframe as short as possible, but they need to wait. But they need to wait with a particular goal in mind. We are not saying ‘don’t come,’ we are saying ‘don’t come now,’ because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible. There have been, I understand, approximately 105 families reunited in the recent past. That is through the extraordinary efforts of counsel and others in the community. We are joining with counsel, with members of the community to work on this.”

Another reporter asked Mayorkas if he thought there was a crisis at the border, to which he replied: “I think that the answer is no. I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it.” Despite the reporter’s pushback on his claim, Mayorkas reiterated that his team was working “around the clock” to address the issues confronting the DHS and that the level of illegal immigrants coming across the border constitutes a challenge, not a crisis.

Big League Politics has covered Mayorkas closely since his nomination to DHS secretary by Joe Biden. He previously said he would stop construction of the border wall and that he was unsure what he’d do with the amount of wall already built.