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Examining what Mayorkas said about Biden's asylum ban at the U.S.-Mexico border


Listening in to that conversation was NPR immigration correspondent Sergio Martinez-Beltran, and so we've called him to ask him, Sergio, what stood out to you?

SERGIO MARTINEZ-BELTRAN, BYLINE: Your questions of why now, right? I mean, that is the question that many people have been asking, especially Michel, because we have seen the numbers of the southern border go down. Sure, in December, we saw a record high in terms of unauthorized crossings at that border. But those numbers have plummeted significantly, and they have even bucked these traditional migration trends. The reason for that, we know, is Mexico. Immigration observers say that Mexico has been a key role - has had a key role here. They have enforced their immigration laws at the urging of the U.S. They have deployed their national guard troops to patrol its borders. It's also repatriating migrants.

Now, you know, the numbers are down. We do know that there's also this idea that there are a lot of migrants stuck in Mexico because of these policies. So there might be some concerns that, you know, if there's not a law like this in place, migrants might start coming eventually again. But, again, the numbers show that there are less people crossing today than what they were in December.

MARTIN: So let me follow up. As briefly as you can, the question I also asked the secretary is they've been complaining for months and there's evidence to support that there is not the infrastructure to support the number of people coming. Based on your reporting, does that number seem sustainable to you, the number that they've set as the threshold?

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: I mean, it is sustainable for the administration. The thing is that it's also a very, very strict threshold because we do know that there are more than 2,500 people that are crossing daily. And so that would mean that in order to bring that threshold even lower, to 1,500, for this provision to be lifted, it's going to be really hard and really challenging.

MARTIN: That is NPR immigration correspondent Sergio Martinez-Beltran. Sergio, thank you.

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Michel Martin
Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.
Sergio Martínez-Beltrán
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