Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was recorded telling federal immigration agents during a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday that the current flow of illegal migrants into the U.S. was not sustainable and that the United States is “going to lose.”
The frank admission by Mayorkas, who also called the situation “unsustainable,” has led Republicans to demand that the Biden administration change its immigration enforcement policies immediately, the New York Post reported.
Mayorkas’ recorded comments during a private meeting with Border Patrol agents in Brownsville, Texas, were obtained by Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, who has been covering the worsening border crisis for the network for months.
The DHS chief also told agents that the situation as is “cannot continue” and the system wasn’t designed to handle so many illegal immigrants.
“A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said, ‘Look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,’” Mayorkas said during the meeting.
“We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it,” he added.
During another point in the meeting, the DHS secretary noted that he was “very well” aware that the system recently came close to “breaking.”
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that that never happens again,” Mayorkas added.
Republicans pounced on the report, demanding that the Biden administration reverse its lax immigration enforcement standards and its practice of so-called ‘catch-and-release.’
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted Friday he was “[g]lad Secretary Mayorkas agrees—the situation at the border is ‘unsustainable’. Now what is their plan to fix it?”
Added Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., “These are the most honest words I’ve heard from the mouth of Secretary Mayorkas. Joe Biden has totally lost control of the border.”
Also taking to Twitter was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who argued that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the latter who was placed in charge of dealing with the migrant crisis in March, were the “root cause” of it.
Another border state elected official, GOP Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, said Mayorkas’ statements were proof that the White House “had completely lost control of the border” while calling on the DHS chief to step down.
He added said Mayorkas’ remarks showed “chaos, dysfunction and a defeatist attitude has infiltrated the highest level” of the department.
“Secretary Mayorkas demonstrated that he fully understands the catastrophe playing out at the border, and yet he lacks the skill, ability and will to address it adequately,” Ducey said.
“The buck must stop somewhere. A defeatist is not what we need when it comes to fighting for border security,” he continued.
“It is time for Secretary Mayorkas to resign, and for him to be replaced with someone who will tell the American people the truth publicly, stand up to the radical activists inside the Biden-Harris administration and once and for all end the crisis at the southern border,” Ducey said.
Mayorkas’ frankness and GOP criticism come as the DHS chief revealed this week that border authorities had encountered more than 212,000 illegal migrants in July alone, close to a single-month record.
Since Biden took office, U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection agents have encountered nearly 1 million migrants, and it’s unclear how many snuck into the country undetected.