Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas, balked during questioning at his Senate confirmation hearing.
Senator James Lankford (R-OK), questioned Mayorkas about the fate of constructed border wall. Mayorkas said he hasn’t “looked at” specific issues surrounded “physical barriers along our southern border.”
Mayorkas quoted former Senator John McCain, claiming a border wall across the entire boundary wasn’t necessary.
Below is a partial transcript:
LANKFORD: Would you recommend any of the physical barriers along our southern border be dismantled or removed? [Emphasis added]
MAYORKAS: Senator, I haven’t looked at that specific question, I will share with you the fact that I agree with the approach that Sen. McCain, an American hero … took to the border which is it’s not a monolithic challenge, the border. The border is varied depending on the geography and depending on the specific venue and depending on the conduct of individuals around it. We don’t need, nor should we have, a monolithic answer to that varied and diverse challenge.
Mayorkas also refused commit on the future of Trump’s Title 42 order, implemented in May 2020 to reduce illegal immigration to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Below is a copy of the exchange:
LANKFORD: Do you anticipate changing the Title 42 authorities that currently exist to be able to protect our agents and individuals in the United States from individuals traveling from very high-profile COVID areas? Do you anticipate changing that? [Emphasis added]
MAYORKAS: … I look forward to studying Title 42 authorities and what they provide and I can say this, unequivocally, that our highest priority is to protect the health and well-being of the American public.
The Title 42 order also enforces Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy which prohibits unessential travel between America and Mexico to help stop the spread of the virus.