Mayorkas announces 212,672 migrant encounters in July, says border is 'one of the toughest challenges we face'
Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas holds a briefing on southern border crisis
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced Thursday that more than 212,000 migrants were encountered in July – the latest consecutive month in which border numbers have skyrocketed under the Biden administration and another serious blow to the White House’s border strategy.
Mayorkas, in a visit to the border in Texas, said that 212,672 migrants were encountered at the southern border in July, a 13% increase over the already massive 188,000 migrant encounters in June. In July 2020, there were just 40,929 encounters.
He emphasized that many of those 212,000 resulted in expulsions under Title 42 public health protections, with 95,788 Title 42 removals. However, that number is lower than in June, where 104,907 migrants were removed under Title 42.
While the majority of single adults were expelled under Title 42, he said just 12% of migrant families were removed under the public health order.
Mayorkas appeared to acknowledge that the situation at the border was grim, describing it as “one of the toughest challenges we face.”
“It is complicated, changing and involves vulnerable people at a time of a global pandemic,” he said.
Additionally, while he noted that numbers had been rising since April 2020, “the increase is most certainly sharper over the last several months and greater than in June.”
While Republicans have blamed the Biden administration’s rollback of Trump-era border protections for the surge, Mayorkas continued to emphasize “root causes” like poverty, corruption and violence in Central America. The administration has focused on root causes, and Vice President Kamala Harris unveiled a number of initiatives in June to tackle them.
Mayorkas also said the resurgence of the American economy was a factor for why migrants are making the journey to the U.S. He said the ending of the Trump administration’s policy and the re-establishment of asylum laws were factors, as well.
Despite the surging numbers that are now the highest in years, Mayorkas said the administration intended to continue with its border strategy.
“We have a plan, we are executing our plan and that takes time,” he said.
This is a breaking news story; check back for updates.
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