WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott weighed in on the Biden administration’s border strategy, criticizing both President Joe Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’s handling of the contentious situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Biden has faced bipartisan criticism over his administration’s approach to immigration. Last month, the Biden administration announced new rules that require authorities to only pursue migrants who recently crossed into the country without permission or are deemed to pose a threat to public safety.
“I’m from an immigration state, we like immigration, but it’s got to be legal immigration, this is not safe for our country,” said Scott.
U.S. authorities arrested 1.7 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border this fiscal year, the most ever recorded, according to a U.S. government source familiar with the numbers.
NewsNation’s Adrienne Bankert interviewed Sen. Rick Scott on “Morning in America.” You can watch the full interview in the player above.
In the interview, Scott pushed policies implemented under former President Donald Trump, including building a wall at the border.
Biden reversed many of the hard-line immigration policies of his Republican predecessor, promising a more “humane” approach to immigration policy.
“Here’s what the president should do right now. Sit down, listen to the Border Patrol,” Scott said.
“We don’t know who’s coming across our border. Mayorkas needs to resign,” Scott continued.
A federal court has ordered the Biden administration to reinstate a Trump-era policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, which forced thousands of asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. immigration court hearings. The administration said it is taking steps to restart the program in November, pending agreement from Mexico.
Illegal border crossings have soared under Biden’s watch, with record numbers of unaccompanied children and, in September, the arrival of about 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants at a camp in Del Rio, Texas.
Homeland Security said in a statement that it “remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values.”
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Biden is advancing an idea that the government should exercise its existing parole power to let migrants stay temporarily in the United States, aides and advocates said, in the Democratic party’s latest attempt to use its expansive domestic policy bill to help millions of immigrants.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.