Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made the rounds on Sunday morning talk shows to address the influx of migrants attempting to cross the border, which he blamed largely on the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policies that Republican lawmakers have conveniently ignored, yet touted.
In addition to echoing President Biden’s remarks to ABC News last week telling migrants: “don’t come over,” Mayorkas on Sunday repeatedly pointed fingers at the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies for dismantling systems in both Republican and Democratic administrations to address unaccompanied minors at the border.
“We are executing on our immediate plans to care for these vulnerable children and moving them to the shelter of HHS as fast as possible,” Mayorkas told CNN. “We are rebuilding the orderly systems that the Trump administration tore down to avoid the need for these children to actually take the perilous journey.”
DHS Chief Mayorkas places blame on the Trump admin for the current surge in migrants at the border: "There was a system in place in both Republican and Democratic administrations that was torn down during the Trump administration" #CNNSOTU https://t.co/oZKfufDioC pic.twitter.com/617RAvysBP
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 21, 2021
On the other hand, some Republican lawmakers took to Sunday morning shows to frame the influx of migrants at the border as an issue that the Biden administration was not left to grapple with in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policies, such as the former president’s family separation policy.
In the past week, Republicans have piled on bad faith arguments to slam Biden’s so-called “border crisis” after the President scored his first legislative victory with the passage of the overwhelmingly popular $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in Congress. Republican lawmakers continued their anti-Biden crusade on Sunday:
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton rambled on about Biden supposedly dismantling “highly effective” policies in securing the southern border with Mexico.
Cotton misleadingly claimed that Mayorkas is pushing a “welcome sign to migrants from across the world,” before suggesting that Biden take a cue from the Trump administration’s immigration policies to address the influx of migrants at the border.
Cotton said that the President should reintroduce a “public health” restriction that he lifted for minors at the border, adopt Trump-era policies aimed at keeping pending asylum seekers in Mexico and require migrants to make asylum claims in the first country they pass through.
“Joe Biden could reimpose all three of those things this week if he wanted to,” Cotton said.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
Portman similarly suggested that the Biden administration adopt the previous administration’s immigration policy, even after CBS “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan pointed out that the current administration has kept Trump’s Title 42 policy, which pushes people back across the border without due process because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among his suggestions to address the migrant surge at the border, Portman advocated for “rapid adjudication” at the border, which he said was a “pilot program” started in the Trump administration.
“It was stopped. Let’s put that back in place,” Portman said. “Let’s put the resources into that so people can find out right away: do they qualify or not?”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
During an interview on ABC News, McCaul insisted that the Biden administration created a humanitarian crisis as he swiped at Mayorkas for what he views a “irresponsible rhetoric.”
“When Mayorkas says we’re not saying don’t come at all, just don’t come, very irresponsible rhetoric for a secretary of Homeland Security to say,” McCaul said. “And now, in his words, we have the greatest — well, not crisis, because he won’t call it that — in 20 years.”
After citing his experience as a federal prosecutor, McCaul criticized the Biden administration for doing away with what he views as “one of the most successful” negotiated agreements with Mexico and Central America. McCaul referred to the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program that allowed the federal government to return certain asylum-seekers to Mexico to wait through the duration of their cases pending in U.S. immigration courts.
“But now they’ve created this — this crisis of children coming in,” McCaul said. “The traffickers are smart. Cartels are smart. They know our laws, policies And this started right after the election. And in the last two months we’ve seen a real surge.”
However, later in the interview McCaul replied “no” when asked whether the surge of migrants at the border can be resolved by building more of the wall that the former president touted.
"I think it's too little, too late."
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 21, 2021