Mayorkas, who appeared on almost all of the major political shows Sunday morning, sought to push a consistent message as the Biden administration is being pressed about conditions in overcrowded detention centers for unaccompanied immigrant children.
“The border is closed. We are expelling families. We are expelling single adults,” Mayorkas said Sunday on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” adding that unaccompanied minors should not attempt to make any journey to the U.S.-Mexico border now. “We strongly urge, and the message is clear, not to do so now. I cannot overstate the perils of the journey that they take.”
But the message coming from the administration has at times been conflicting, particularly Mayorkas’s message that asylum seekers should not come “now” while other members of the administration have said they should not come, period, and should seek asylum from where they are. That has frustrated even some of their Democratic allies steeped in immigration issues.
Democrats have emphasized they are attempting to take a more humane approach to immigration. Mayorkas on Sunday reiterated that the Biden administration would not “expel into the Mexican desert” young, vulnerable children like the last administration did.
Mayorkas also blamed Trump for dismantling processes such as the Central American Minors Program, which laid out an “orderly, human and efficient way of allowing children to make their claims under United States law in their home countries.” It would take time to rebuild such processes, he said repeatedly.