Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that his message to migrants hoping to come to the U.S. southern border is “do not come.”
Why it matters: Mayorkas’ remarks come amid plans by the Biden administration to lift the pandemic-era public health policy Title 42 in May, which is expected to result in a surge in migration at the border.
State of play: The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday outlined its plan to secure the southern border once Title 42 is lifted, consisting of increasing resources that include personnel, transportation, medical support and facilities to support border operations.
- A federal court on Monday temporarily blocked the Biden administration from removing the order after several states filed a lawsuit to keep it in place.
- Axios reported in a scoop last month that Mayorkas had privately expressed concerns to members of Congress about the Biden administration’s handling of its plans to lift Title 42.
What they’re saying: Mayorkas said his message to migrants remained “the very same” as it was last year, stating emphatically, “do not come.”
- “What happens now is individuals are either expelled under the Title 42 authority or they are placed in immigration enforcement proceedings. And they are removed if they do not have a valid claim under our law to remain.”
- “So the border is not open. And importantly, they should not place their lives at risk in the hands of smugglers who exploit their lives for the mere purpose of profit.”
The big picture: Mayorkas has made similar remarks in the past. His words also echoed remarks by other administration officials, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who told would-be migrants in Central America last year, “Do not come. Do not come.”