Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is “not collaborating” with the Biden administration on immigration amid an influx of migrants at the southern border and tensions over related policy.
“Governor Abbott is not collaborating with the federal government on an issue that requires collaboration,” Mayorkas said on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos.
“We cannot have the rights and the needs of individuals who are seeking humanitarian relief in the United States be exploited for political purposes. We cannot have unilateral governor action that is not coordinated with the federal government to address an issue that is of national importance,” Mayorkas said.
President Biden is set to make his first trip to the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday amid growing concerns among border-state Republican governors over the number of migrants trying to cross into the U.S.
“The American people recognize Biden’s open border policies are responsible for this crisis. While Biden refuses to secure the border, Texas will step up to protect our country,” Abbott said on Twitter over the weekend.
Abbott, joined by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and others, has led an effort to bus migrants from the southern border into Democratic-led cities in protest of the Biden administration’s immigration stance, a move many criticized as using the migrants as political pawns.
“It’s clear that immigration is a political issue that extreme Republicans are always going to run on. But now they have a choice: They can keep using immigration to try to score political points or they can help solve the problem,” Biden said in remarks at the White House last week.
Mayorkas on ABC Sunday said the immigration situation at the southern border is part of a “migration challenge” on a global level, “the greatest displacement of people since World War II in the western hemisphere.”
“We want individuals who qualify for relief under our laws to come to the United States in a safe and orderly way, and that is why we’re building lawful pathways, so people do not have to place their lives and life savings in the hands of ruthless smugglers,” the Homeland Security secretary said.