House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday blamed former President Trump for the current crisis at the U.S. southern border, saying that President Biden inherited a “broken system” from the previous administration.
“This is a humanitarian challenge to all of us,” Pelosi said Sunday morning during an appearance on ABC.
“What the administration has inherited is a broken system at the border, and they are working to correct that in the children’s interest,” she said, adding that the Biden administration is effecting “a transition from what was wrong before to what is right.”
Pelosi added that she is “so pleased” that Biden has sent the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the border to help handle the influx of migrants.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the surge of migrant children crossing the Southern border "a humanitarian challenge," adding that the Biden administration has inherited a "broken system at the border." https://t.co/UNXhabLMfs pic.twitter.com/on69lT7LLX
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 14, 2021
On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security ordered FEMA to assist border authorities for the next 90 days and “help receive, shelter and transport the children” who have crossed into the U.S. illegally. The number of children detained at the border has tripled to a record high since Biden was sworn in, with close to 4,000 migrant children currently in Border Patrol custody. Due to the high numbers of children currently showing up at the border, some children have been kept in Border Patrol custody longer than the maximum 72 hours.
The House speaker also mentioned that “climate change” has played a role in the surge of migrants at the border, saying that droughts in Central American countries have spurred migrants to make the journey north to the U.S. border.
“There are many reasons that go into this, but the fact is, we have to deal with it at the border,” Pelosi said.
Rep. Veronica Escobar, a Democrat representing the El Paso area, also blamed the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies for the crisis at the border.
“This is not something that happened as a result of Joe Biden becoming president,” Escobar said Sunday on CNN. “We saw the increases dating back almost a year, and this was during the Trump administration.”
“What we are seeing today is the consequence of four years of dismantling every system in place to address this with humanity and compassion,” Escobar added.
Nearly 30,000 unaccompanied minors crossed the southern border in February, close to the total number of unaccompanied minors who crossed last year. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 people were apprehended crossing the border illegally last month, an increase of 28 percent from January.
Meanwhile, Biden has scrapped several of the Trump administration’s border policies, including the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required that migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. cross back over the border and wait in Mexico until their immigration court date.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy (LA) said Sunday that the Biden administration shoulders the blame “entirely” for the border crisis, and he warned that the current situation is dangerous for migrant children.
“When people think they can get in, they begin sending their unaccompanied child across Mexico, where she may be kidnapped and trafficked,” Cassidy said on Fox News.
The White House has so far eschewed calling the situation at the border a crisis.