Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reiterated former President Donald Trump during a recent behind-closed-door meeting, pledging to advocate for immigration and customs control, advocate for more deportations and take over protected cities, a report said.
According to the Washington Times, which reviewed notes from the meeting, Mayorkas spoke in a virtual town hall with ICE staff last week on several points of view that appeared to contradict President Biden’s softer approach to immigration compared to Trump.
“I am 100 percent against the abolition of the ICE,” said Mayorkas, rejecting a rally among some supporters of left-wing immigration.
“It’s the opposite of what I think needs to happen,” he continued. “I think we need to strengthen our policies and practices and communicate more effectively what we are doing and why we are doing it.”
It was previously reported that during the meeting, Mayorkas expressed an interest in “filling in gaps” in the wall along the US-Mexico border after former candidate Biden spent months campaigning to support the Trump-era project to mock.
He also advocated increasing the number of deportations at the Federal Ministry of Justice – a course that deviates from a sharp decline in the first few months of the Biden government.
“I am now seeing cases where we are arresting and removing people who I think should be prosecuted,” he reportedly said, specifically calling for a more liberal application of Title 8, Section 1326, which makes it a crime to return after entering the US was previously ousted.
“In all honesty, I need to understand why some of these people are not the subject of a USC 826 Title 8 case, and I intend to work with the DOJ in that regard,” he said.
An ICE member reportedly discovered during the meeting that officials in shelters opposed to the agency’s deportation operations were refusing to cooperate with ICE on other criminal investigations.
Mayorkas assured the agent that he would take over cities with “blanket guidelines” that are unwilling to work with ICE, but apparently gave no details.
“I know the jurisdictions and that will be one of my top priorities,” he said. “I think we have a lot to learn, and I think we have a lot to learn, not just with city officials about what we do and how we do it. But I think we have a lot to do for the American public. “
Even so, Mayorkas reportedly defended the tightening of the criteria by which ICE can take enforcement action under Biden, unlike the Trump era when almost everyone in the country was illegally fair game.
“Every law enforcement agency I’ve been involved with or worked on has priorities given that it doesn’t have unlimited resources,” he said.
But he added that the guidelines are not “set in stone” and that some changes may be in the works.
“I know there may be a disagreement about where these lines are being drawn and we will be talking about that in the coming weeks,” he reportedly said.
The DHS declined to comment in the Washington Times on Mayorkas’ remarks, noting that some parts of the discussion were “sensitive” about law enforcement.
Mayorkas was previously forced to ask DHS employees to voluntarily reinforce the border to keep up with the “overwhelming” increase in the tens of thousands of Central American migrants who have made the crossing since Biden took office.