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Biden leaves immigration posts vacant during border crisis

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The United States Border Patrol in the Algodones Dunes, California (Photo: Department of Homeland Security)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Philip Wegmann
Real Clear Politics

There was no break-in period for the new Department of Homeland Security secretary.

Alejandro Mayorkas went from his confirmation hearing in the Senate to confronting a surge of migrants along the southern border almost immediately, and while the new DHS chief won’t call the current situation a crisis, he did announce Tuesday that the nation is on track to record the highest number of apprehensions in over two decades.

It is a challenge, the White House regularly insists, that has only been made worse by the previous administration’s policies.

“When I started 27 days ago,” Mayorkas told reporters at the White House in early March, “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,” he added, “the entire system was gutted.”

And yet, at least for now, rebuilding the system that Trump allegedly wrecked does not include surrounding Mayorkas with the executive personnel he doubtless needs to do his job. As the surge continues, President Biden continues to mull who he should name to key immigration posts.

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