DHS Chief Mayorkas: ‘We Will Not Expel’ Children Who Cross U.S.-Mexico Border Unaccompanied

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said Thursday on “CBS Morning News” that they “will not expel” young children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border unaccompanied.

Mayorkas said, “Let me draw a distinction between families, if I may, and children who come without an adult — some of these children are as young as 7, 8-year-old girls. So we do not expel them back into the desert. But we say do not come because it is dangerous. There are children tragically who do not make it to the border because of the perils of the journey. So I cannot overemphasize the importance of the message of do not come.”

Anchor Tony Dokoupil said, “Mr. Secretary, I cannot begin to imagine the difficult decision that these families are making. If you say to them this morning, do not come, the next question is going to be how long do I wait and what am I waiting for? Is there going to come a moment where you say, okay, now is the time?”

Mayorkas said, “In weeks, in several months, we will expand the legal processes that we already have started to rebuild. We already have reinstituted the Central American minors program built in the Obama-Biden administration that was torn down by the prior administration. We well understand that out of desperation, some children might not wait. Some loving parents might send their child to traverse Mexico alone to reach the Southern border, our Southern border. I hope they don’t undertake that perilous journey, but if they do, we will not expel that young child. We will care for that young child and unite that child with a responsible parent. That is who we are as a nation, and we can do it.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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