WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas issued the following statement on the bipartisan national security agreement in the U.S. Senate:
“The bipartisan agreement in the Senate is tough, fair, and takes meaningful steps to address the challenges our country faces after decades of Congressional inaction.
“It would allow DHS to remove more quickly those who do not establish a legal basis to remain in the United States, reducing the time from years to months. It would expedite protection and work authorization for those with legitimate claims. It would provide flexibility to respond to changing dynamics at the border, including temporarily prohibiting border entries for certain individuals when encounters are extremely high. It also delivers much-needed resources to support and expand the DHS workforce after decades of chronic underfunding, and it further invests in technology to help prevent fentanyl from entering our country at ports of entry.
“This agreement builds on this Administration’s approach of strengthened consequences for those who cross the border unlawfully, without curtailing the development of lawful, safe, and orderly pathways for those who qualify. While it will take time to fully implement these new measures, the new enforcement tools and resources this proposal offers will further strengthen our ability to enforce the law in the months and years ahead, and we will begin implementing them as soon as it becomes law.
“I thank the bipartisan group of senators who came together over the past several months to craft this legislation. These proposals are the product of extensive negotiations and conversations. I and my DHS colleagues were privileged to provide technical and operational expertise to the Senators to ensure that these solutions are workable and effective. While the proposed legislation does not fix everything in our immigration system, these reforms are essential for making our border more secure, orderly, fair, and humane. I call on Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation, give the DHS workforce the tools and resources we need, and provide solutions that increase our border security.”