BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas held a news conference in Brownsville Friday to provide an update on operations ahead of the lifting of Title 42.
Along with Mayorkas, Acting Deputy CBP Commissioner Bejamine “Carry” Huffman and U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz will also be hosting the conference.
Mayorkas called the current border situation a difficult and very challenging one, while offering praise to Border Patrol, U.S Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement and leadership.
“The message is very clear,” Mayorkas said. “We are coming with the relief that our laws provide to the individuals in need. The border is not open, it has not been open and it will not be open.”
The secretary said that smugglers are exploiting “vulnerable migrants,” by spreading false information to lure them towards the border. He urged those thinking of migrating to use the official government publications and information for accurate information.
“We will, by May 11, finalize the rule that we published in a proposed format, that provides that individuals who do not access our lawful pathways will be presumed to be ineligible for asylum, and will have a higher burden of proof to overcome that presumption of ineligibility,” Mayorkas said.
Mayorkas arrived in the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, and spoke briefly with Border Patrol and local leaders in Hidalgo County.
“We’re also very happy we’re informed that hopefully there will be funding to be able to assist us while we assist them,” said McAllen mayor Javier Villalobos.
The Biden administration announced earlier this week it would deploy 1,500 troops as an influx of migrants at the border is expected.
The news conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. and will be livestreamed in this story.