Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas offered a dire warning about the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mayorkas met with Border Patrol agents on Thursday, and leaked audio obtained by Fox News reveals that he called the situation at the border “unsustainable.”
“A couple of days ago, I was down in Mexico, and I said look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose, and this is unsustainable,” Mayorkas said. “We can’t continue like this, our people in the field cant continue, and our system isn’t built for it.”
He continued, “These numbers cannot continue. We cannot get to a point where we were a couple weeks ago. And we’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’re looking at the policy options.”
Listen to the audio below:
Mayorkas also said that he was “very aware” that the border came close to “breaking” amid the surge of migration.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that that never happens again,” he said at a press conference, adding, “The extent of the challenge should not be understated, but nor should our ability to meet it.”
One agent told Mayorkas, “For those of us who have been around here long enough … we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We’ve had this happen before. We know exactly how to shut it down. We need to make illegal entry illegal.”
Official numbers released on Thursday showed that authorities encountered migrants at the border more than 212,000 times in July.
Mayorkas noted that migrants are testing positive for COVID-19, but “the rate of positivity is at or lower than the rates in our local border communities.”
“We are building new capacity to address the situation, and we are doing so as rapidly as possible. The extent of the challenge should not be overstated. But nor should our ability to meet it,” he added.
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