Tens of thousands of immigrants from Central America and Mexico, including thousands of unaccompanied minors, are journeying to the border. In February, the US Customs and Border Protection says it tracked over 100,000 migrants crossing the southern border, almost a 30% increase over January. Nearly 10,000 were unaccompanied minors, and more than 14,000 of those minors are now in US custody.
And the problem worsens every day.
Yet White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday refused to characterize the situation as a “crisis,” instead, calling it a “circumstance.” This comes at the same time the Biden administration is restricting press access to border facilities, prompting backlash from CNN and other news organizations.
The most recent photos we have of the conditions at the border came Monday morning from Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, who visited an overflow facility in Donna, Texas, to witness the crisis first hand. He shared pictures with Axios showing children crammed and penned amid plastic sheeting.
That’s right — kids tightly packed in detention facilities, sleeping on mats on the floor with aluminum-like blankets. For all of the hue and cry from the left hammering former President Donald Trump for keeping “kids in cages” at our southern border, Biden has now served in two administrations — first as vice president and now as President — in which migrant children are being held in terrible conditions.
When this happened during the Trump administration, his staffers and cabinet members were harassed, heckled and even forced out from restaurants in protest. Time magazine went so far as to run a cover showing a towering Trump looking down upon a crying Hispanic little girl.
Make no mistake — this is a crisis, and one of Biden’s making. Some media organizations have managed to interview some of the migrants. Over and over, the reporters were told the same thing — these migrants were coming to America because Biden told them they could. Biden issued a 100-day moratorium on most deportations, which a federal judge blocked, and ended the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” rule. He has also halted the construction of Trump’s wall, though some scholars question the legality of pausing mid-build.
If there was one bright line dividing the Democratic and Republican parties in last year’s election — and in the actions of the last two chief executives — it was immigration. Biden ran against Trump’s so-called “racist” policies and pledged to reverse his immigration restrictions and border security measures. The message was sent loud and clear: with Trump gone, the border is open.
Now in office, laughably, Biden and his Department of Homeland Security secretary are trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Biden is telling migrants not to come, and Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says the “border is closed.” Too little, too late.
However, the bell cannot be unrung, and Biden’s first crisis as President is at hand — whether he admits it or not.