The pinnacle of the Division of Homeland Safety visited San Diego on Tuesday to have fun with Mayor Todd Gloria that the land border has finally reopened to tourists following its pandemic closure.
Throughout a press availability with the automotive lanes of the San Ysidro Port of Entry because the backdrop, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas referred to Gloria as a “companion” and applauded the collaboration that his division had with the mayor’s crew. He centered on the financial advantages that cross-border journey brings to the area and reiterated the necessities for nonessential vacationers to have the ability to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter from the land border with Mexico.
“We’re terribly excited we’re seeing financial prosperity return in full drive,” Mayorkas stated.
The mayor touted the excessive vaccination ranges in each San Diego and Tijuana that helped carry in regards to the reopening for nonessential vacationers who’ve paperwork comparable to visas allowing them to enter the US. He stated that Mayorkas and the remainder of the Biden administration stayed in shut contact along with his workplace.
“The reopening of our border to nonessential journey was about greater than bringing again our economic system or supporting native companies, as necessary as these issues are,” Gloria stated. “This was about individuals. This was about San Diegans with the ability to get along with their household and family members and with the ability to make our area entire once more.”
Gloria stated that he’s since been in communication with DHS in regards to the rise in wait times on the border and that they have been addressing the difficulty “aggressively.”
The border reopening notably doesn’t embrace asylum seekers.
Mayorkas’ go to comes because the Biden administration this week reimplements the “Remain in Mexico” program that started beneath former President Donald Trump.
Each President Joe Biden and Mayorkas have spoken out in opposition to this system, which requires asylum seekers to attend in Mexico whereas their immigration circumstances proceed in the US. Mayorkas initially ended this system, however a federal choose in Texas ordered that it’s reinstated after the states of Texas and Missouri sued.
When requested about Stay in Mexico on Tuesday, Mayorkas stated that the Biden administration is working to reimplement it due to the court docket order.
He didn’t instantly handle a query about why this system is increasing to incorporate nationalities comparable to Haitians and Jamaicans that weren’t beforehand enrolled. The federal choose didn’t order any enlargement of this system primarily based on nationality.
Mayorkas additionally defended the Biden administration’s resolution to proceed utilizing Title 42, one other Trump-era coverage, to expel migrants to Mexico or their residence international locations with out the chance to request asylum as is generally required beneath each U.S. and worldwide legislation.
“We aren’t but ready the place we now have put the pandemic fully behind us,” he stated. “When we now have put the pandemic behind us, we is not going to use that authority to expel people.”
Many well being specialists have stated that Title 42 is just not obligatory to guard in opposition to the unfold of COVID-19.
Exterior the port of entry, a small group of activists made up of immigration attorneys and different advocates who’ve labored with asylum seekers caught in Tijuana chanted in protest over each Title 42 expulsions and the return of Stay in Mexico.
Lindsay Toczylowski, government director of Immigrant Defenders Regulation Heart, stated essentially the most upsetting half in regards to the return of Stay in Mexico is its enlargement to incorporate extra nationalities which might be prone to current as Black migrants. She stated they’re among the many most susceptible in an already-vulnerable inhabitants.
“It’s horrific, and it’ll instantly result in individuals shedding their lives,” she stated.