In the past three years, the Biden administration consistently asserted the security of the United States border. However, President Biden’s recent remarks contradicted statements made by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, revealing his belief that the border hasn’t been secure for the past ten years.
By December 2023, the frequency of migrant interactions had surged to unprecedented levels. The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee has outlined grounds for impeaching Mayorkas, citing deliberate and systemic non-compliance with the law and betrayal of public trust.
During his testimony before Congress, Mayorkas inaccurately asserted that the border was closed, secure, and under the operational control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He reiterated similar claims in numerous interviews with various media outlets.
During a visit to Texas in September 2022, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki expressed concerns regarding border security. In contrast, Vice President Kamala Harris, who was then serving as the border Czar, stated that there was no threat at the US-Mexico border. She attributed her administration’s challenges to the flawed immigration system inherited from the Trump administration.
During his address at the 45th Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala, Biden reiterated his and Mayorkas’s commitment to overhauling immigration policy and enhancing the management of migrant borders.
Given conservatives’ opposition to the reported elements of the legislation under consideration in bipartisan Senate talks, Biden’s assertion that Republicans are hindering border security echoes recent statements from the White House.
House Speaker Mike Johnson suggests that the president should show his sincerity by promptly implementing measures to secure the border. Additionally, Johnson hinted on Friday that Biden might disregard any additional constraints in a potential Senate agreement.
During his presidential campaign in 2020, Biden pledged to reverse Trump’s stringent border policies. This included ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required most asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their persecution claims were processed, as well as halting Trump’s border wall construction plans along the US-Mexico border.
Biden asserts that he sought additional border authorities upon taking office, alluding to proposed legislation aimed at simplifying the asylum process for incoming migrants and offering a pathway to citizenship for approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States.
Republicans have been urging Biden to reintroduce border restrictions implemented during the Trump era, such as detaining individuals who cross the border illegally. There was an expectation that the House Homeland Security Committee would approve an impeachment resolution against Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, over accusations of failure to enforce laws.