President Joe Biden assigned Vice President Kamala Harris the task of handling what has become a “child migrant crisis” on the United States-Mexico border, but Harris now says she has no plans to visit or tour overflowing detention facilities and will use “diplomacy” to handle the surge of unaccompanied minors.
The Biden administration noted last week that it was negotiating with Mexico in the hopes of securing that nation’s assistance in handling a surge of unaccompanied minor immigrants and families seeking asylum at the southern border, and Harris said late last week that she will pursue that “diplomacy” fully in the hopes of solving the crisis without making changes to immigration law.
Like her boss, President Joe Biden, Harris has no plans to see the situation on the southern border firsthand.
“Vice President Kamala Harris won’t be on the ground at the Southwest border anytime soon as she leads efforts to address a rise in migrants trying to enter the country,” The Associated Press reported. “Harris has no plans to visit the U.S.-Mexico border region ‘in the near future,’ spokeswoman Symone Sanders said Friday.”
“The vice president is not doing the border,” Sanders said.
Instead, Sanders added, Harris will receive briefings from Mexican and Central American officials, though, as of last Friday, she had not met with anyone about the issue.
“You can expect she will be speaking with leaders from the region in the near future,” Sanders said.
As of Monday, the New York Post reported, Harris had no meeting yet scheduled on the topic of immigration.
“Harris, who was tapped by President Biden to handle the migrant crisis last Wednesday, made no media appearances on any of the highly watched weekend news talk shows — even as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made the rounds following their respective visits to the border,” the outlet added.
The Washington Post reports that, at last count, around 5,000 individuals are being apprehended trying to cross the US-Mexico border each day, and between 450 and 500 of those are unaccompanied minors. Approximately 15,500 children are currently in border patrol custody — the exact number is unknown — and many border patrol facilities are operating at between five and ten times their capacity.
The number of migrants apprehended at the border is only growing. So far in March, 50% more individuals are being apprehended at the border each day than on any given day in February. According to estimates being circulated within the Biden administration, by September, border patrol agents could be apprehending between 500,000 and 800,000 illegal immigrants per month — a huge strain on resources.
The Biden administration has pledged to open more detention facilities and is working on ways to process families quickly, as the number of adults and children presenting as complete families has also increased, and family groups are subject to strict detention limitations put in place by the courts during the Obama administration. Over the weekend, the Biden administration suspended a requirement that individuals caring for children at the border pass an FBI background check in order to get more people to assist at temporary holding facilities.
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