DHS needs 'modern border management,’ Mayorkas says in 2022 budget proposal

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Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Friday that one of the department's top fiscal year 2022 spending priorities is what he called "modern border management."

Topping a list of funding priorities released by DHS on Friday is "investing in effective and modern border management." Also on the list are subjects such as improving cybersecurity, responding to domestic terrorism and confronting climate change.

The proposal comes as the White House grapples with an influx of immigrants trying to enter the U.S. along the Mexico border — and struggles with how to house them once they're here. U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 172,000 people trying to enter the country illegally in March, up from the 100,441 in February, according to administration officials' analysis of the numbers released this week.

BIDEN PROPOSES HOLDING DHS FUNDING FLAT DESPITE SURGE AT US SOUTHERN BORDER

"The President’s FY 2022 discretionary funding request will reinforce the basic missions of securing our homeland, including preventing terrorism; securing and managing our borders; repairing the broken immigration system; safeguarding critical infrastructure; and strengthening national preparedness," Mayorkas said.

The request provides more than $1 billion for border infrastructure improvements, but it emphasizes that the "discretionary request includes no additional funding for border wall construction."

Money allocated to border security will be spent primarily on the modernization of ports of entry and security technology.

Biden administration officials said Thursday that 168,195 of the 172,331 – 98% – of southwestern border encounters in March occurred between the legal ports of entry.

Fox News’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

Jon Raasch Fox News