WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — New numbers show a surge in migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border, including a sharp spike in unaccompanied children. Republican lawmakers blame the Biden administration.
But Biden administration officials say they inherited the problems from the previous administration – and say it will take time to fix them.
“This year we’ve seen double the number of apprehensions at the border,” said Texas Republican Rep. Jodey Arrington. “In fact CBP just released this afternoon that in February there were over 100,000 apprehensions.”
Wyoming Sen. John Barasso said, “In terms of unaccompanied minors, the beds are full to capacity. In terms of adults coming into the country, many of them are infected currently with coronavirus, they’re still allowed to be released into the United States.”
Roberta Jacobson, who oversees border policy on the National Security Council, said it will take time to fix the inherited problems.
“We can’t just undo 4 years of the previous administration’s actions overnight. Those actions didn’t just neglect the immigration system, but intentionally made it worse,” Jacobson said. “The president has committed to security $4 billion over 4 years to address the root causes of migration.”
Jacobson said the Biden administrations will also create a fairer and faster asylum process — beyond no longer requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico.
“We’re announcing the restarting of the Central American Minors Program for children to be reunited with a parent who is legally in the United States,” Jacobson said.
Republican lawmakers plan to lead a delegation to the border next week.