Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas struggled to explain Sunday the crisis on the U.S. border and the Biden administration’s decision to keep the media away from the area.
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week”, Mayorkas walked back Joe Biden’s open-border messaging, claiming this time that the border is “closed” and “secure.”
“The message is quite clear, do not come. The border is closed, the border is secure,” Mayorkas told host Martha Raddatz, adding that Biden has a “plan” to address the crisis.
But Raddatz reminded Mayorkas that the Biden administration was previously briefed by “career professionals in the DHS” about this looming migrant crisis.
“Why were you not prepared for this?” she asked, noting this was the largest migrant surge on the border in 20 years.
“We know how to address it. We have a plan, we are executing on our plan, and we will succeed. This is what we do,” Mayorkas replied.
Raddatz shot back, asking, “If you’ve got this great plan, why will you not let the media in? I understand privacy concerns, but will you let them in today or this week?”
Mayorkas said the lack of press access is because “we’re in the midst of a pandemic,” but assured Raddatz that the media will soon “see what’s going on in a border patrol station.”
Even CNN criticized Mayorkas on Sunday, noting that Biden not appearing in a press conference since he captured the White House has only added to concerns his administration is not being transparent with the public.
“Despite calls of transparency from the Biden administration, reporters and photographers have not been allowed inside the facilities where thousands of unaccompanied children are being kept, similar to jail-like conditions,” CNN anchor Pamela Brown said.
“Between what’s happened at the border and the fact the president has not held a formal press conference, this battle with the press appears to be entirely of their own making,” she added.