Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas met with sheriffs in El Paso, Texas, about the situation at the U.S. border on Thursday, where he is said to have agreed to regular meetings with law enforcement.
The meeting was closed to the press, but Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff Mark Dannels, chair of the National Sheriffs Association Border Security Committee, told Fox News after the meeting that it was the first time southwest border and western sheriffs, as well as national sheriffs, were able to sit down with Mayorkas.
Dannels asked for regular meetings with Mayorkas, which he told Fox News was agreed to.
“Currently we asked [to meet with the Secretary] for once a week, whether that’s through zoom, conference calling, in-person, or whatever needs to happen based on where we’re at today with the border,” Dannels said. “So that’s in the process of being set up and hopefully this will now turn into action for the good of the people.”
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At the meeting, Dannels said everyone present agreed that the sheriffs need to work more closely with DHS to build on “shared missions”.
He added that the group did not get deep into stats because everyone was aware of them, but no one disagreed that there is “instability” at the border.
A spokesperson for DHS did not return Fox News’ request for comment.
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Thursday marked Mayorkas’ third trip to the border since February.
The Department of Health and Human Services released data this week that showed there are more than 20,000 unaccompanied minors in the custody of either DHS or Customs and Border Protection.
The White House has declined to classify the situation as a “crisis,” despite record-breaking numbers of unaccompanied minors attempting to make their way into the U.S.
As previously reported by Fox News, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said this week that the U.S. was on a “good path at the border” under the president’s leadership. Critics have said Pelosi and other Democrats may be downplaying the severity of the situation.
Fox News’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.