The southern border is a much "bigger problem" than at any time during the Obama years, according to the former president’s secretary of homeland security.
Jeh Johnson, who served under former president Barack Obama from 2013 to the end of his second term, said the nation’s immigration crisis is so out of control that his old job has fundamentally changed. The United States is now seeing as many migrants crossing the border in the course of two months that he would see in an entire year, Johnson said in an interview with David Lat on Wednesday.
"Well, the job, first of all, is different than it was when I was in office seven, eight years ago," Johnson said. "The current secretary was my deputy secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas. The job is different. The immigration problem is much bigger than it was."
Johnson’s comments highlight how even fellow Democrats have few kind words for DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’s handling of the border crisis. More than five million migrants have crossed the border since Biden has taken office, the highest number ever recorded in U.S. history.
As for advice, Johnson didn’t have much to say. Staying on message, Johnson said, was one of the biggest lessons he learned from his time in the Obama administration.
"And so sometimes the essence of the job is repeating over and over again one simple, straightforward message that you want people to hear," Johnson said.
House Republicans have pledged to impeach Mayorkas over his handling of the southern border. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to hold its first hearing on the border in February.