Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is pushing back against the argument that payments to migrant families separated at the border would lead to more illegal immigration.
During a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on border security Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked Mayorkas if the United States pays migrant families “will we get more illegal immigration or less illegal immigration.”
He replied, “I do not think a mother would travel to the United States in the hands of traffickers so that she can be separated from her 7-year-old daughter.”
Cruz interrupted, “Can you answer the question? Those were two yes and no questions.”
Mayorkas answered, “I do not think that it would be a pull factor.”
Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas tells Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that paying migrant families separated at the border would not be a “pull factor.” pic.twitter.com/bvx8RyreBU
— The Recount (@therecount) November 16, 2021
Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is considering paying migrant families separated under the Trump administration roughly $450,000 a person.
After calling the report “garbage,” Biden sought to clarify his remarks earlier this month, as IJR reported.
“No, I didn’t say that, let’s get it straight. You said everybody coming across the border gets $500, $450,000.00,” Biden said.
When asked if it was the number Biden had an issue with, he replied, “The number, I was referring to.”
He added, “If, in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you coming across the border, whether it was legal or illegal, and you lost your child. You lost, your child is gone. You deserve some kind of compensation. No matter what the circumstance. What that will be? I have no idea. I have no idea.”
Cruz also went back and forth with Mayorkas over how many children have been in the “Biden cages” in 2021. Mayorkas pushed back against the term “Biden cages.”
The senator responded, “Fine, you can disagree with it. How many children have been to the Biden cages? I have been to the Biden cages, I have seen the Biden cages.”
He asked Mayorkas, “How many children have you detained at the Donna tent facility in the cages you built to hold kids? How many children have been in those cages?”
Cruz showed Mayorkas a photo of children in the “Biden cages.”
“That is precisely why I stated in March of this year that a border patrol station is no place for a child,” Mayorkas said.
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