Politics

We Need Resources and It’ll End up in Court

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas responded to questions on whether President Joe Biden will take executive action on the border to combat the surge at the border that is taking up resources by saying that “Executive actions in the past have been challenged in the court[s], and executive actions without the accompanying resources will not meet the moment.” And “We are always considering what we as an administration can do in the shadow of Congress’ failure to act, but we continue to believe that Congress must and can act. We must have them deliver the solution, rather than live with the problem.”

Co-host Amna Nawaz asked, “Now, we know the administration has been weighing executive action, under some kind of presidential authority that could bring those numbers down by restricting asylum access if people enter illegally. Will the President take that executive action?”

Mayorkas responded, “Amna, a couple of points: Very importantly, that what we are experiencing at the southern border is reflective of what the world is experiencing, the largest number of displaced people around the world since World War II, if not before then. And so, we mentioned the different nationalities of the individuals arriving at our border. That is what other countries across the Atlantic are experiencing and around the world, number one. Number two, the answer is exactly what the bipartisan group of senators presented to Congress, and that is legislation that provides for much-needed fixes to what everyone agrees is a broken system and much-needed resources to implement those fixes. Legislation is what is needed. That is what is enduring. Executive actions in the past have been challenged in the court[s], and executive actions without the accompanying resources will not meet the moment.”

Nawaz then asked, “But absent congressional action, because we know that that bill did not have a path forward in the Republican-led House, absent congressional action, does the President have authority? There is a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that says he can suspend entry if he finds that entry of migrants is, ‘detrimental’ to the United States. Should he use that authority to bring down those numbers that you know are taxing resources in our system?”

Mayorkas answered, “We have not given up on Congress in terms of its ability to actually fulfill its responsibility to the American people. We are always considering what we as an administration can do in the shadow of Congress’ failure to act, but we continue to believe that Congress must and can act. We must have them deliver the solution, rather than live with the problem.”

Nawaz followed up, “So no presidential action imminent?”

Mayorkas answered, “I am not in a position to talk about the deliberative process. I can share with you that we deliberate, each and every day, how we can address the challenges that we confront. We hope that Congress does the same, meets the moment, and passes the legislation that was bipartisan in nature.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett



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