WASHINGTON – On Friday, June 25, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas joined Vice President Kamala Harris, along with Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Veronica Escobar, in El Paso, Texas to receive an operational briefing at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility, visit the Paso del Norte (PDN) Port of Entry, and meet with community leaders.
“This Administration inherited a decimated immigration system and the Biden-Harris Administration is making progress to restore order and humanity to that system,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “I am proud of the work that CBP is doing to keep the border secure while we work to implement a safe, orderly, and humane process for those seeking asylum. I am grateful to the Vice President for leading the effort to tackle the root causes of irregular migration. We know that what happens at the border is directly connected to the work of addressing the root causes of migration: poverty, corruption, violence, and a climate crisis.”
While at the CBP facility, Vice President Harris privately met with young women who shared with her their personal stories and insights, providing the Vice President with invaluable perspective on her work to address the root causes of their migration.
Secretary Mayorkas also provided Vice President Harris with an update on the progress being made in facilities across the Southwest Border to decrease the amount of time unaccompanied children remain in CBP custody and the work being done to reinstate orderly processes and protocols at the border:
- The number of unaccompanied children (UC) in CBP has fallen from 5,767 at its peak on March 29 to 890 on June 24.
- Average time in custody for UC has fallen from 133 hours on March 29 to 22 hours on the morning of June 15.
- Projected UC encounters for June are down approximately 21 percent from their peak of 19,000 in March.
- Family unit encounters remain well below the high levels observed in 2019: peaking this year at about 55,000 in March, compared to a peak of 89,000 in May 2019. In fact, 2021 family unit encounters have consistently tracked below 2019 encounters for each month of the year.
The Vice President, joined by Secretary Mayorkas, Senator Durbin, and Representative Escobar, led a meeting with El Paso community leaders who shared the experiences of migrants they work with, as well as their own valuable perspectives. The Vice President and the community leaders committed to continuing their work to address the root causes of migration and the needs of the children who have left to seek safety and humanitarian relief.
Vice President Harris and Secretary Mayorkas also discussed the Vice President’s continuing efforts to address the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras as well as the need for Congress to pass urgently needed immigration reform.