‘Enormous crisis’ at border after Trump administration stemmed flow: Mike Pompeo
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells ‘America’s Newsroom’ President Biden is incentivizing traffickers amid the border crisis.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday said that President Biden has not responded to his request for a meeting over the escalating border crisis — as Republicans tied it to the administration’s reversal of Trump-era policies.
“As you see and we hear along the border, we see that Biden’s policies created a border crisis, because on the very first day of his administration there wasn’t a plan to open American business or American schools,” McCarthy said at a press conference alongside a number of GOP House lawmakers.
BORDER ENCOUNTERS TOP 100,000 IN FEBRUARY AS MIGRANT CRISIS SPIRALS
“President Biden announced that it was his priority to offer citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants — what did he think would happen?” he asked.
The Republican lawmakers spoke a day after Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it had encountered more than 100,000 illegal immigrants at the border — a 28% increase over January.
Of those, 19,246 individuals were in family units; 9,457 were unaccompanied children (UACs) and 71,598 were single adults.
So far, encounters in FY 2021 to date is 97% higher than FY 2020 and 24 percent higher than FY 2019 — when there was a crisis at the border. In FY 2021 through February, officials encountered 29,792 UACs and single minors — over 3,000 of these children are under age of 12 and 26,850 are aged 13 to 17.
McCarthy noted that he had written to Biden last week, requesting a sitdown meeting on the crisis, but has so far not heard back.
“Last week I sent a letter to the president asking to sit down with him, to work on ideas to reverse some of the misuse and misdirected policies that he had attempted at the beginning in creating this crisis,” he said.
“As of this day he has not answered our letter to attempt to meet,” he said.
Republicans have zeroed in on the dramatic shifts to immigration policy made in the first weeks of the Biden administration. Biden has started to roll back the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) which kept migrants in Mexico. Meanwhile, it has limited Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) priorities for arrest, while pushing an immigration bill to give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.
ICE ARRESTS PLUMMET IN FEBRUARY AS BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TIGHTENS RULES
But as a surge has come to the border, which Republicans has said is encouraged by those liberalizing policies, the administration has been throwing up migrant centers — and is even looking at a Virginia military base to house migrant children.
In an email to staff this week, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described the numbers as “overwhelming” as he urged staff to volunteer to assist CBP.
On Thursday, other speakers echoed McCarthy’s sentiments in blaming the Biden policies for the surge.
“We have to recognize that words have consequences and actions have consequences,” Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said. “When the Biden Administration refuses to enforce our immigration laws, when they refuse to build the wall, when they pass legislation like the bill that we passed yesterday that includes money for illegal immigrants, this is what happens. “
McCarthy and a dozen other members are traveling next week to the border. He said they wanted to find solutions to the crisis. Senior Biden administration officials visited the border last week and Biden was briefed this week on that visit.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION LETS CHILD MIGRANT CENTERS EXPAND TO 100% CAPACITY AMID SURGE IN NUMBERS
Roberta Jackson, the special coordinator for the southern border, on Tuesday repeated the claim that the border was “not open,” adding that part of the plan was to fund measures with a $4 billion package that would tackle the “root causes” of migration.
Asked if it was a coincidence that the surge coincided with Biden-era policies, Jackson said migrants were responding to “hope.”
“There was a hope for a more humane policy after four years of pent up demand, so I don’t know if I would call that a coincidence but the idea that a more humane policy would be in place would have driven people to make that decision, but more importantly it definitely drove smugglers to express disinformation, spread disinformation about what was now possible,” she said at a White House press briefing.
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But Republicans on Thursday were clear about who they thought was responsible for the surge.
“If you want to think of it another way, it’s disorder at the border by executive order, if you want to channel Dr. Seuss,” Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., said
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