“We established three new facilities last week. … We are working on the system from beginning to end. We are working around the clock 24/7,” Mayorkas advised NCS’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” when pressed on the administration’s timeline for having new processing facilities up and operating. “We have dealt with surges in the past and the men and women of Department of Homeland Security will succeed.”
Bash pressed Mayorkas to offer a timeline, asking: “Can you be more specific?” and “Can you give me a date you hope to be up and running so that these children have better facilities?”
The secretary, declining once more to offer a date, advised Bash “as soon as possible,” including that the coronavirus pandemic has partly sophisticated their efforts.
Mayorkas defended the administration’s work on the southern border and positioned blame on the Trump administration for dismantling the immigration system, saying his division now has to rebuild it “from scratch.”
“I have said repeatedly from the very outset that a Border Patrol station is no place for a child and that is why we are working around the clock to move those children out of the Border Patrol facilities, into the care and custody of the Department of Health and Human Services that shelters them,” he mentioned.
There have been, as of Saturday, greater than 600 children who’ve been in custody for greater than 10 days, paperwork present. Federal legislation requires unaccompanied children to be turned over inside 72 hours to HHS, which oversees a shelter community designed to accommodate minors, however amid constraints associated to the pandemic, children are staying in custody for longer than the 72-hour restrict.
On common, children are staying in Border Patrol custody in jail-like facilities for a median of greater than 5 days.
This story is breaking and will probably be up to date.
NCS’s Priscilla Alvarez, Jason Hoffman and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.