DHS Chief: We Should Not See Borders as ‘Lines that Mark National Boundaries and Divide Us’

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 02: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas delivers remarks while visiting a FEMA community vaccination center on March 2, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Located at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the site is being run as a partnership between the city and the federal government. It …
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U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, on Tuesday told the annual Washington Conference on the Americas the Western Hemisphere should not see borders as lines that divide nations, but rather “as a point of connection” that brings countries together.

“Rather than viewing borders solely as the lines that mark national boundaries and that divide us from one another, we should see borders as a point of connection, as the place where the flow of people and goods from different countries interact and intersect,” Mayorkas declared during the annual conference hosted by the Council of the Americas (COA) on Tuesday.

His comments came amid the border crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border fueled by a migrant surge, primarily from Central America’s Northern Triangle region (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador).

The flow of migrants is overwhelming DHS resources and the border agents who operate under the department, forcing the release of migrants into U.S. communities.

Many of the migrants reaching the border are unaccompanied children and families from Central America. Republicans have accused the Biden administration of pushing an open borders agenda.

Although President Joe Biden keeps insisting the border is closed, he struck a more welcoming tone as a candidate, and migrants keep coming in with some released into U.S. communities.

The Biden administration’s message is falling on deaf ears, in part due to online ad campaigns by human smugglers who promise guaranteed entrance into the U.S. under the current president.

Human smugglers, including those who rape women and girls during the journey, benefit financially from the influx of migrants.

Republicans have blamed Biden’s undoing of Trump-era immigration policies for the border crisis.

Mayorkas indicated that the Biden Administration is working on creating an immigration system where people are “treated with dignity and respect.”

“This is not inconsistent with enforcing the law and securing our border,” he added.

The governments of Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador have, directly and indirectly, blamed the Biden administration’s welcoming tone for the surge at the U.S. southern border.

Mayorkas also mentioned that DHS is working to ensure a robust and safe movement of goods and people across the Western Hemisphere.

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