Vice President Harris Says US Border Problems Will Not Be Solved “Overnight” | Joe Biden News
The Biden administration is grappling with an increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border into the United States.
US Vice President Kamala Harris called the recent wave of unaccompanied children crossing the country’s southern border from Mexico a “huge problem,” but said it would not be resolved overnight. on the next day.
Harris made the comments during an interview on CBS This Morning Wednesday as President Joe Biden’s administration sought to defend its immigration policy.
Biden assured that his approach to the issue of migrants would be more humane than that of his predecessor Donald Trump. Critics accused the change in tone of encouraging more people to attempt the trip, with many Republicans seeking to represent the situation as a “crisis”.
“It’s a huge problem,” Harris said. “I’m not going to pretend it isn’t.”
Since Biden’s inauguration, the United States has seen an increase in the number of people encountered by border officials.
According to the Pew Research Center, 18,945 family members and 9,297 unaccompanied children were seen in February – an increase of 168% and 63% respectively from the previous month.
Harris spoke shortly before she and Biden met with heads of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services, both responsible for handling migrants crossing the southern border into the United States.
The White House also dispatched officials to a Texas resettlement center. Officials, along with several members of Congress, will visit a refugee resettlement center in Carrizo Springs on Wednesday, the White House said in a statement, adding that this would also allow limited media coverage of the visit under pressure from reporters. .
Photos of crowded facilities
Monday, photographs emerged a crowded migrant detention center housing children along the southern border.
The photos, posted by Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, showed children being held in crowded rooms with mattresses on the floor surrounded by clear plastic in the Donna, Texas detention center.
Lawmakers said a group meant to hold 260 people housed 400 boys.
Officials also said the influx overwhelmed facilities intended to house children who crossed borders.
As a result, thousands of migrant children are routinely detained by immigration authorities for longer than the prescribed 72-hour limit, after which they are supposed to be referred to health and social service centers better equipped to provide counseling. care.
“Are we looking at overcrowding at the border, especially these children? Yes, ”Harris said in Wednesday’s interview. “Should these children be placed in the care of HHS, health and social services, instead of the border patrol?” Yes.”
“Should we be dealing with these cases faster?” she said. “Yes.”
“This, however, will not be resolved overnight,” she said.
Harris said the current situation was in part caused by the dismantling, during Trump’s time, of a system that allowed U.S. officials to process children’s asylum claims in their home countries.
She added that two envoys from the Biden administration were currently traveling in Mexico and Guatemala where the White House declared that it would seek “to develop an effective and humane action plan to manage migration”.
When asked, Harris said she and Biden would visit the border “at some point,” but did not give a timeline.