White House struggles to cope with rising numbers of migrants at US-Mexico border
The Biden administration struggles to cope with an influx of unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the southern border into the United States, with figures confirming a sharp increase in attempts by people to cross in the weeks following the take function of Joe Biden.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said on Wednesday 100,441 people attempted to enter along the southern U.S. border in February – a 28% increase from January. The agency said 9,457 of those were unaccompanied minors, a 62 percent increase from January.
At a White House press briefing on Wednesday, Roberta Jacobson, the National Security Council’s Southwest Border Coordinator, said no one, especially children and families with young children, should do the dangerous journey to try to enter the United States irregularly ”.
“The border is not open,” added Jacobson, the former US ambassador to Mexico.
Biden administration faces surge in attempted entries while attempting to radically overhaul the Trump administration zero tolerance border strategy.
Although he blamed the current border crisis on the previous White House, he struggled to simultaneously tout a promising message to migrants while deterring people from entering the country outside the proper legal channels – which he said Jacobson, was like trying to “walk”. and chew gum at the same time ”.
“We are trying to make everyone in the region understand that we will have legal processes for people in the future, and we are standing up for them as soon as possible,” she said.
“But at the same time, you cannot come by irregular means. It is dangerous, and the majority of people will be kicked out of the United States, because it is the truth. We want to be honest with people. And so we are trying to send both messages, ”she added.
During Wednesday’s White House briefing, Jacobson announced that the Biden administration would seek $ 4 billion from Congress over the next four years to address the southern border migration crisis.
It is also relaunching a program to help arriving children from Central America, which will allow eligible children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to reunite with their US-based parents, if the parents are legally resident in the US. Donald Trump had closed the program, which began under the Obama administration.
About 3,000 children had already been approved for the program, Jacobson said.
Republican lawmakers criticized the administration for not doing enough to stem the crisis.
Chip Roy, a Republican representative from Texas, accused the Biden administration of being “perfectly fine” with open borders.
“Secure borders are pro-immigrant, pro-American and pro-nos values. And the Biden administration doesn’t care, ”Roy said at a press conference.
Across the aisle, the White House has also come under crackdown from some Democrats who say the administration is not spending enough resources to ensure minors are kept in appropriate facilities for them. children and following an appropriate pandemic. health guidelines.