Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed he did not have access to President Biden’s travel itinerary to El Paso, Texas, while he was on Air Force One with the president at the ‘era.
Mayorkas made the statement during a back-and-forth with reporters as he traveled to Texas on Sunday on his way to the US-Mexico border for Biden’s first visit of his presidency as border officials continue to sound the alarm in the face of the current crisis.
“How up close will President Biden see some of the crowd performing in El Paso? Will he see people on the streets downtown, and will he be able to actually talk to one of the migrants who crossed? asked a reporter.
“Pardon me, I don’t know exactly the details of the trip,” Mayorkas replied. “I know he’ll see, like [White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre] mentioned, the port of entry, which I believe is the second busiest port along the border.
“But I don’t know the details of the route,” he added.
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Biden’s visit comes as U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded 718,000 migrant encounters in the first 100 days of fiscal year 2023, beginning Oct. 1. October was the first month in US history that CBP recorded more than 230,000 migrant encounters, but every month since has also eclipsed that number, CBP sources told Fox News Digital.
The data shows a shocking spike in migration compared to the same period in fiscal year 2022, when CBP recorded about 518,000 border encounters in the first quarter.
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El Paso, the site of Biden’s visit, is the busiest area of the border, with 168,000 migrant encounters recorded since Oct. 1, according to CBP. The agency said it also recorded 78,161 “leaks” in this sector alone during the same period.
The United States has seen a record number of border crossings throughout Biden’s tenure, and particularly in the final months of 2022. The White House has long sought to dismiss the surge as an annual event, but historical data show that the current crisis is far beyond the traditional annual crisis. surges.
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The White House also unveiled a handful of policies aimed at stemming the flow at the border as Biden announced his visit. They include expanding a humanitarian parole program for Venezuelan nationals to include Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans, as well as increasing refugee resettlements.