“Because our border is not open,” Mayorkas told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” “What happens now is individuals are either expelled under the Title 42 authority or they are placed in immigration enforcement proceedings. And they are removed if they do not have a valid claim under our law to remain.”
“So, just to be clear, if somebody is watching this from another country, considering coming. Your message is?” Bash asked.
“Do not come,” the secretary replied.
The secretary maintained that the Biden administration is actively preparing for when that authority lifts. “What we do is we prepare, and we plan, and we’ve been doing so for months,” he said Sunday. “It is our responsibility to be prepared for different scenarios and that is what we are doing.”
‘We know where they are’
Mayorkas on Sunday also confirmed that 42 individuals who were on the terrorist screening database had been encountered on the US-Mexico border, telling Fox that the administration has a “handle on it.”
“We know where those 42 individuals are on the TSDB, the terrorist screening database,” he said.
“Let me share with you what happens: They can be removed, they can be placed into custody for criminal prosecution, they can be cooperating in a law enforcement investigation, and I don’t intend to provide that data publicly if it’s law enforcement-sensitive. But we know where those 42 are, and I did not want to speak to the disposition of each and every one of them.”
Asked if Americans should be worried, Mayorkas said, “We’ve got a handle on it,” referring to the entire US enforcement and intelligence enterprise, including the FBI.
CNN’s Donald Judd and Devan Cole contributed to this report.