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Alejandro Mayorkas says the United States still aims to be a country of immigrants

Alejandro Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File
  • Mayorkas told The New York Times Magazine that the US wants to remain a country of immigrants.

  • "We shouldn't, nor do we, define ourselves by the challenges we have," he told the magazine.

  • The secretary of Homeland Security has clashed with Republican lawmakers over border security.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a recent interview that he believes the United States "very much so" wants to remain a country comprised of immigrants.

In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Mayorkas said Americans shouldn't "define ourselves by the challenges we have."

"We define ourselves by the opportunities that we have and we create," he said.

Mayorkas, who was born in Cuba, said during the interview that he had immigrated to the United States while remarking on the immigrant background of Lulu Garcia-Navarro, the reporter who interviewed him for the magazine.

"We are two immigrants in positions of responsibility," he said. "You have significant responsibilities as a journalist. I have a serious set of responsibilities as a secretary of homeland security."

"What a wonderful country this is," he added.

Since leading the Department of Homeland Security, Mayorkas has become a lightning rod for Republican frustration with President Joe Biden's immigration policies. GOP lawmakers have argued that the president's policies have led to a surge in illegal crossings along the US-Mexico border.

In December 2023, illegal border crossings from Mexico led to an all-time monthly high of nearly 250,000 arrests, according to US Border Patrol.

Earlier this week, the Republican-led Homeland Security Committee voted to send impeachment articles for Mayorkas to the House for a vote, arguing that the secretary has failed to secure the border.

Mayorkas has blasted the impeachment effort and said he is focused on pushing Congress to strengthen the nation's immigration laws.

"There isn't a week that has gone by that we haven't discussed new solutions, new ideas," he told the Times. "And I have to return to this: Fundamentally, we are working within a broken system, and Congress, most importantly, needs to pass legislation that fixes it."

Read the original article on Business Insider