Republicans have slammed Alejandro Mayorkas after he finally admitted that 12,000 Haitian migrants have been released into the U.S. and acknowledged the figure “could be even higher.”
The Secretary of Homeland Security told Fox News on Sunday that approximately “10,000 or so – 12,000” mostly Haitian migrants had been released into the country. “We will make determinations whether they will be returned to Haiti based on our public health and public interest authorities,” he said.
Speaking of the approximately 12,000 migrants released into the country, Mayorkas said that individuals placed in immigration court proceedings go before a judge where they can make a claim of asylum or other claims to remain in the United States and are permitted to remain or removed based on the judge’s ruling.
He added that the United States has “enforcement guidelines” in place to ensure that people who have recently crossed the border and do not show up for their hearings are removed. “It is our intention to remove them, that is what our policies are, and we deploy our enforcement resources according to certain priorities to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” he said.
Former ICE Director Tom Homan accused Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of misleading the public after the Biden official finally said 12,000 Haitian migrants have been released into the U.S. “It’s much more than that and he knows that,” Homan said.
In an interview with Fox on Monday morning, the immigration official said Mayorkas underestimated the number of migrants successfully crossing the southwest border because he didn’t account for people who were never confronted by border agents and so are harder to track down.
“When he said the 8,000 will return to Mexico, went back to Mexico, he realizes they went one or two miles down the line and came into the United States because they surged so many resources to Del Rio they left 220 miles of border unguarded,” he said.
Many of the thousands who crossed the border over the last week have temporarily settled at an encampment under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. Around 30,000 Haitians traveled to the border city in the last month, the Biden administration admitted. Roughly 12,400 Haitian migrants are waiting to have their cases heard by immigration judges, while 5,000 are being processed by DHS and 3,000 are in detention.