Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been caught on leaked audio telling border agents that the current crisis is “unsustainable” and that the US is “going to lose.”
Mayorkas told agents during a private meeting in Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday that the current situation “cannot continue” and that the system wasn’t designed to handle such high numbers of illegal immigrants, according to the audio obtained by Fox News.
“A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico, and I said, ‘Look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable,’” Mayorkas said during the meeting.
“We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”
He added that he was “very well” aware that the system recently came close to “breaking.”
“It’s our responsibility to make sure that that never happens again,” Mayorkas said.
Outside the private meeting, Mayorkas held a press conference in Brownsville, where he revealed that more than 212,000 illegal immigrants had been stopped by border agents last month alone.
The 212,672 stops in July — which is a 20-year high — represented a 12.6 percent increase over June, when 188,934 stops were reported, according to figures released by the Border Patrol.
Border agents have already stopped more than 1.1 million illegal border crossing attempts this calendar year.
Mayorkas told reporters that the southern border situation was “one of the toughest challenges we face.”
“It is complicated, changing and involves vulnerable people at a time of a global pandemic,” he said.
The White House continues to face pressure over how to deal with the border crisis given the record-smashing influx of illegal immigrants since President Biden took office.
The number of attempts to cross the US-Mexico border has risen every month since then.
More recently, the administration is grappling with the surging number of illegal immigrants testing positive for COVID-19.