House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and some of his Republican colleagues, argued Thursday the current migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexican border is of President Joe Biden’s making.
“We see that Biden’s policies created a border crisis,” McCarthy said.
Rather than offering a plan to open America’s businesses or schools on his first day, McCarthy argued, Biden issued an executive order ending former President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration relating to the southern border and directing construction on the border wall to cease.
“President Biden announced that it was his priority to offer citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. What did he think would happen?” McCarthy asked.
The lawmaker noted that in the month of February, U.S. Border Patrol encountered over 100,000 migrants attempting to enter the country illegally along the southwest border.
In February, CBP encountered 100,441 persons attempting entry along the SW border. This is a 28% increase over January.
— CBP (@CBP) March 10, 2021
That number is up from the month of January, when there were nearly 78,300 encounters and nearly triples the number of migrant encounters reported in February 2020.
“Put that in perspective — 100,000. That’s a larger population than President Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania,” McCarthy said.
The congressman also highlighted that the number of unaccompanied migrant children being detained by the Biden administration has tripled in two weeks.
CBS News reported more than 3,200 migrant children were in Border Patrol facilities as of Monday.
“More than 7,000 unaccompanied migrant children were transferred to U.S. refugee agency shelters last month — a record high for a February,” according to the news outlet.
Republican Rep. John Katko of New York, the ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, stated that the department is predicting 13,000 unaccompanied minors will cross the border illegally in May.
“It’s disorder at the border by executive order,” the lawmaker said of the overall situation.
Katko identified four actions the Biden administration took that led to the current crisis.
First, the president halted border wall construction, and secondly, re-instituted the “Catch and Release” policy for those making asylum claims.
Thirdly, Biden eliminated the “Remain in Mexico” policy that the Trump administration initiated during the border surge in 2019.
Finally, Biden ended the asylum cooperation agreements Trump had put in place with Central American countries.
“That’s what they’ve done. What they haven’t done is admit that it’s caused a crisis,” Katko said.
Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona contended that the Biden administration is “culpable of child abuse,” due to the child trafficking happening as a result of lax border enforcement.
The Yuma County sheriff told the congresswoman he had been called out to a certain date farm multiple times because migrant women and girls were being taken there to be sexually abused.
“They’re being raped by the cartels who don’t give a damn about these people. All they care about [is] the money,” Lesko said.
Biden’s policies are incentivizing this, she argued.
“I would say the Biden administration is culpable of child abuse and abuse of these women and children — and it needs to be stopped.”
At a White House media briefing on Wednesday, Ambassador Roberta Jacobson, the coordinator for the southern border under Biden, accused the Trump administration of “intentionally” making the immigration system worse.
“We must build a better immigration system that reflects our values as Americans, enforces our laws, safeguards public health, and moves away from cycles of irregular migration,” Jacobson said.
“Working across the whole of government, we will look at access to international protection and refugee resettlement, and rethinking asylum processing to ensure fair and faster consideration,” she added.
Jacobson also announced plans to give $4 billion in foreign aid to the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, in hopes of creating better conditions locally, so migrants choose not to come to the U.S.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the border crisis during a Fox News interview Thursday.
“We had in place a set of policies that were humane, decent and protected American sovereignty,” Pompeo said.
“We had a set of policies that reduced the flow and the trafficking of these people across the border.”
“I regret that the Biden administration has moved, frankly, farther than even the Obama administration did with respect to creating completely open borders.”