Mayorkas Dodges on How Many Migrants Are Released, ‘Would Not Surprise Me’ if It’s over 70% of Encounters

In the Fox News Channel “Special Report” broadcast on Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas answered a question about how many people were released from the border. He said that “we have a limited detention capacity due to the funding Congress provides us”. But, he would not be surprised if it was higher than 70%. “When individuals are released, then they are placed into immigration enforcement procedures.” The alternatives to detention are being considered.

Bret Baier, the host, asked: “Obviously, Biden just finished his third year as president.” How many illegal immigrants have DHS allowed to enter the country through the border during that time?

Mayorkas replied, “Bret. Let me clarify a misunderstanding. We place someone in immigration enforcement procedures if they enter the country. If their claim for relief or their claim to remain within the United States is successful, then they can stay in the United States by law. If it fails, we will remove them.”

Baier asked: “Just estimate it. Is it more than 500 000? More than one million? 2 million?”

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Mayorkas replied, “Bret — it’s over a million dollars per year. And that’s why, from the very beginning of this administration, we’ve said that immigration is fundamentally broken and needs to be changed.”

Baier asked: “But, let’s say that last month you set a record of 300,000 encounters with CBP. How many were released into the country from detention?

Mayorkas said: “Bret. We are limited by the funds that Congress gives us in terms of our capacity to detain. We have removed an unprecedented number of people. We have returned and removed a historic number of individuals. This is a problem that needs regional solutions. “That’s exactly why I went to Mexico last weekend.”

Baier followed up with, “Would you be surprised to hear CBP sources claim that they currently release more than 70% of migrants crossing each day, and that sometimes, this number is higher? Would you be surprised if the number was higher than 70%?

Mayorkas replied, “It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.” I have the data. When individuals are released they are placed in immigration enforcement proceedings. These individuals are in alternatives to detention. We have removed or returned a record-breaking number of people. “We are enforcing laws passed by Congress.”