The US President Joe Biden administration received criticism from activists and Democratic members of Congress for reopening a migrant child facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas on Monday in order to house 700 minors.
In an exclusive report, Fox News said Friday that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is deploying hundreds of Border Patrol agents to the southern border to deal with an influx of Latin American immigrants.
Around 250 agents will deploy to McAllen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley Sector on March 1, several Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sources confirmed to Fox News. The agents have been asked to remain at the southern border until March 31. Many of the minors arriving at the border are not accompanied by any adults.
“It’s definitely a migrant crisis,” one DHS source told the outlet. “If you put everything together, with the number of children that we have, COVID-19 and the lack of proper facilities for this type of special population, it’s definitely a migrant crisis.
In a statement to Fox News, former border official Mark Morgan revealed that apprehensions at the southwest border have increased over the last few weeks from between 3,200 and 3,500 to over 4,000 a day. On some days, there are some 1,000 “got-aways,” people who are seen by agents but escape detention.
“It’s a full-blown crisis,” he told Fox News. “Then-Secretary [of DHS] Jeh Johnson under President Obama and Vice President Biden said 1,000 a day was a bad day”.
While the US made 78,000 border arrests and detentions last month, the country could see 100,000 southern border apprehensions by the end of April, Morgan noted. Under former-US President Donald Trump’s administration, there were around 100,000 southern border apprehensions in March and April 2019.
According to The Washington Post, apprehensions at the border rose 6% between December and January, and may be triggered by economic hardships in Central America being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since taking office, Biden has removed the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), a US government action “whereby certain foreign individuals entering or seeking admission to the US from Mexico – illegally or without proper documentation – may be returned to Mexico and wait outside of the US for the duration of their immigration proceeding.” Biden has also paused the construction of the southern border wall.
Despite these actions, the Biden administration has been criticized by opening a Trump-era child migrant detention facility in Texas this week.
“We have a number of unaccompanied minors coming into the country without their families,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters this week. “What we are not doing is what the last administration did, which was separate those kids, rip them from the arms of their parents at the border.” “I don’t think I’m going to put new labels on it from here or from the podium, but it is a priority of the administration. It’s a priority of our secretary of Homeland Security and certainly of the president who’s kept abreast of the developments”.