The Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas slammed the Trump administration’s dismantling of immigration to the United States, saying “the entire system was gutted.”

After only 27 days in office, Mayorkas spoke to reporters from the White House Monday.

“It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty,” Mayorkas said.

He also repeated a plea that people seeing to immigrate to the United States need to wait. “It takes time to rebuild the system from scratch.”

In guidelines released Thursday, immigration enforcement in the U.S. would be more targeted under President Joe Biden than under his predecessor, with authorities directed to focus on people in the country illegally who pose a threat.

The guidelines set a new course for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which drew fierce criticism under President Donald Trump for arresting and removing anyone in the country illegally regardless of criminal history or community ties.