Former President Donald Trump has again criticized the Biden administration's handling of the crisis at the U.S. southern border after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spent Sunday morning defending his handling of the situation in a slew of television interviews.
Trump appeared to respond to Mayorkas's comments in a statement sent via email later on Sunday, where he reiterated his criticism that the Biden administration had transformed "national triumph into a national disaster" in a span of a few weeks of taking office.
“We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history. All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of a just few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster. They are in way over their heads and taking on water fast," Trump said in his statement.
"Even someone of Mayorkas’ limited abilities should understand that if you provide Catch-and-Release to the world’s illegal aliens then the whole world will come," Trump wrote.
"The Mayorkas Gag Order on our Nation’s heroic border agents and ICE officers should be the subject of an immediate congressional investigation. But it’s clear they are engaged in a huge cover-up to hide just how bad things truly are. The only way to end the Biden Border Crisis is for them to admit their total failure and adopt the profoundly effective, proven Trump policies," Trump wrote.
Mayorkas on Sunday denied allegations that a gag order is in place after he was pressed by NBC’s “Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd to address the issue.
"Right now, we have no access to, or photos of, the conditions in the facilities. There have been no ride alongs with agents, all inquiries are routed through Washington, there have been strict controls on sharing data, local border patrol folks feel like they can’t even talk to our folks down there. Is there a gag order?” Todd asked.
“There is not. That is unequivocally false, Chuck. Let’s be clear here. We are in the midst of a pandemic. We are, because of the extraordinary leadership of the president, climbing out of it more rapidly than ever before. But we are still in the midst of the pandemic,” Mayorkas responded.
Mayorkas reiterated Biden's plea to Central American migrants telling them to "don't come over."
The number of family units (19,246) and unaccompanied minors (9,457) crossing illegally rose significantly in February, compared to 7,294 family units and 5,585 unaccompanied minors in January, and 4,404 family units and 4,993 unaccompanied minors in December 2020.
The emergency management agency will support the government effort over the next 90 days to receive, shelter, and transfer unaccompanied children who cross the border illegally, the DHS said. FEMA is an agency of the department.