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ABC host tells Mayorkas it’s ‘very hard’ to call Biden’s actions at the border a ‘success’

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ABC News host Martha Raddatz told Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Sunday that it was “very hard” to call President Biden’s actions at the border a “success.”

Raddatz asked Mayorkas to respond to comments he made during a 2021 interview. 

“We have seen large numbers of migration in the past. We know how to address it. We have a plan. We are executing on our plan, and we will succeed,” Mayorkas said at the time. “This is what we do, but one thing is also clear: that it takes time. It’s tough, but we can do it. This is what we do, and we will accomplish our mission.”

“‘We will succeed,'” Raddatz said after playing the clip, quoting Mayorkas. 

“That was three years ago,” she continued on “This Week.” “Since then, 6.5 million migrants have been apprehended along the southern border. It would be very hard to call that a success.” 

Mayorkas defended the Biden administration, explaining that he demanded congressional action after arguing that migration was a “dynamic phenomenon” and that the United States wasn’t the only country experiencing it. 

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ABC's Martha Raddatz and Sec. Mayorkas

ABC’s Martha Raddatz tells Sec. Mayorkas its “very hard” to call Biden’s actions at the border a “success.” (Screenshot/ABC)

Raddatz also asked about Biden’s latest executive action at the border, which temporarily suspends the entry of non-citizens across the southern border once the number of average border encounters exceeds 2,500 a day over seven days. 

The temporary suspension will remain in place until 14 days after there has been a seven-day average of fewer than 1,500 encounters along the border, Fox News Digital previously reported, citing officials. 

“President Biden said this ban will remain in place until the number of people trying to enter illegally is reduced to a level that our system can effectively manage, meaning, as we said, that average of 1,500 encounters or less over a period of 14 days,” Raddatz said. “We said that has never happened. Do you really expect that to happen in the coming months or before Election Day?”

Mayorkas pushed back, telling the ABC host they were driving toward the new number of encounters, explaining it was “an average of 1,500 individuals encountered over a seven-day consecutive period.”

He added that they were communicating about the lawful pathways throughout the region. 

“But that’s something you’ve been doing all along, you’ve been trying to do that with people,” Raddatz responded.

Alejandro Mayorkas

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sits down for an interview with ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (Screenshot/ABC)

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Raddatz asked why the Biden administration waited four months after the bipartisan border deal had fallen apart in Congress to take action. 

“The bipartisan deal was rejected once. We pressed for it again — it was rejected a second time, and then we developed this and have implemented it, and we are at an early stage — and let’s not minimize the significance of this move and the significance of operationalizing it. And it requires the cooperation of other countries, which we have secured,” Mayorkas responded.

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“The ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] has pledged to sue the administration over this policy, comparing it to a Trump-era one. I know there are differences, but the ACLU asserts that your policy will put thousands of lives at risk. If this is so great, why didn’t he do it in the first place?” Raddatz pressed. 

Mayorkas reiterated that the country needed congressional action, and said he disagreed with the ACLU and that he “anticipates they will sue us.” 

Fox News Digital’s Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 

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