Mayorkas admits some migrants 'game the system'

 May 30, 2024

The Biden administration's Homeland Security chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, made the surprising admission that some illegal immigrants "game the system" to enter the United States.

"The reality is that some people do indeed try to game the system," Mayorkas told CBS News. "That does not speak to everyone whom we encounter, but there is an element of it, and we deal with it accordingly."

The comments echoed President Trump and other Republicans who say the asylum process has been exploited by economic migrants with meritless claims of persecution.

Mayorkas' big confession

Mayorkas has been a lightning rod of criticism from Republicans, who made a failed effort to impeach him for refusing to enforce immigration law.

Illegal immigration has repeatedly hit record highs since Biden entered the White House and moved swiftly to end his predecessor Donald Trump's strict policies.

During his presidency, Trump introduced asylum restrictions and other measures to curb immigration. Biden is reportedly moving to tighten asylum rules despite criticizing Trump's restrictions in the past.

Illegal immigrants may claim asylum to enter the U.S. after passing a "credible fear" test. While many claims are ultimately found baseless, it is often difficult to deport asylum seekers once they have set roots in the U.S.

Critics of the system say it is full of loopholes and enables illegal migrants to live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Biden's asylum shift

Mayorkas pointed the finger at Republicans for rejecting a so-called bi-partisan border bill. Biden has repeatedly cited the bill's death as proof that Republicans want to campaign on immigration instead of fixing it.

The bill would provide "more tools to deal with those individuals who seek to game the system” and “drive traffic to our ports of entry in an orderly way," Mayorkas said.

Mayorkas has long deflected blame for the border crisis onto a "broken system" and what he calls Republicans' refusal to cooperate on a solution.

His admission about migrants "gaming the system" comes as Biden is scrambling to address one of his most vulnerable issues, with many Americans rating the border as a top concern ahead of the November elections.

While Biden has prioritized speeding up asylum processing, he is planning to roll out new rules next week that would cut back asylum access.

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