On border visit, DHS boss says ending COVID-19 pandemic remains first order of business

Border Report Tour

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, visited the San Ysidro Port of Entry Tuesday night saying traffic through the border crossing is back to pre-pandemic levels.

He also discussed why the Biden administration was forced by a court ruling to restart the Migrant Protection Protocol program, also known as “Remain in Mexico.”

“The MPP program indeed should be terminated, it does not reflect our values as our country nevertheless we are required to adhere to the court’s order under the rule of law,” said Mayorkas, who in October issued a memo announcing and explaining his decision to terminate MPP.

As for Title 42, the public health policy that allows immigration agents to immediately expel newly arrived migrants to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Mayorkas says it will remain in place until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s time to do away with it.

The secretary’s visit was met by a small visit from protesters, among them immigration attorney Dulce Garcia.

“We’re hoping Mayorkas will end Title 42 and stop MPP from being implemented,” said Garcia. “There’s no reason why asylum seekers are left in Tijuana, it’s very hypocritical to say they will be reopening MPP and allowing asylum seekers to come across for their immigration hearings and then return them to Tijuana knowing there’s still a pandemic ongoing.”

Mayorkas stated the border is not open as some have indicated and that ending the pandemic remains the first order of business.

“We are not yet in position where we have put as a nation the pandemic entirely behind us,” said Mayorkas.

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