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Trump 'gutted' U.S. immigration system -DHS chief

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"Contracts had been entered that were unlawful or against the interests of the United States Department of Jusice," Mayorkas said on Monday (March 1).

He also said families and single adults are being returned to Mexico under COVID-19 protocols.

Video Transcript

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: To put it succinctly, the prior administration dismantled our nation's immigration system in its entirety. When I started 27 days ago, I learned that we did not have the facilities available or equipped to administer the humanitarian laws that our Congress passed years ago. We did not have the personnel, policies, procedures, or training to administer those laws. Quite frankly, the entire system was gutted.

Contracts had been entered that were unlawful or against the interests of the United States Department of Justice. If families come, if single adults come to the border, we are obligated to, in the service of public health, including the health of the very people who are thinking of coming, to impose the travel restrictions under the CDC's Title 42 authorities and return them to Mexico, and we have done that. We need individuals to wait.

INTERVIEWER: Do you believe that right now, there is a crisis at the border?

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS: I think that the answer is no. I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it.