House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is done waiting on the sidelines for the Democratic Majority to do something about the worsening immigration crisis and has requested to meet with President Biden directly.
In a letter, McCarthy said illegal crossings and apprehensions at the border are on the rise and just recently topped an all-time high.
As a result of these crossings, immigration housing facilities are unable to keep up and have resorted to detaining these migrants at temporary structures for much longer than intended.
“I am writing to request a meeting with you regarding the crisis developing on our southern border,” the Republican wrote. “You confirmed this week that you received a briefing on the situation at the border that, according to press reports, included information indicating upwards of 117,000 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) will be crossing the southern border this year.”
“This represents a marked increase from what were the highest yearly totals of UAC apprehensions by the U.S. Border Patrol in recent history (68,541 and 76,020 in 2014 and 2019, respectively, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data),” he continued. “While the administration has yet to release the border crossing data for February of this year, January’s data shows a nearly 113% increase in UAC apprehensions when compared to January 2020. Total apprehensions in January show a 157% increase compared to January 2020. Such drastic increases in apprehensions will, and no doubt already have, put a strain on the capacity of the U.S. Border Patrol and the Health and Human Services
officials tasked with caring for unaccompanied alien children.”
Immigrations officials are swamped and the Biden administration has been slow to offer any assistance, McCarthy said.
“In the face of all of this, I feel compelled to express great concern with the manner in which your administration is approaching this crisis, but with hope that we can work together to solve it,” he wrote.
Just this week, the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas had a message for those who may seek to cross our border illegally: “We are not saying don’t come, we are saying don’t come now…” To be clear – there is never a “right time” to enter the country illegally and violate the laws of the United States. Signaling otherwise is reckless and will make the situation worse. I am specifically reminded of the “open letter” former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wrote during the UAC crisis of 2014: “To the parents of these children I have one simple message: Sending your child to travel illegally into the United States is not the solution.” Secretary Johnson’s words represent a stark difference from the message coming from your administration.
Concluding the letter, McCarthy encouraged Biden to quickly come up with a plan and ordered in assistance in doing so.
“We must acknowledge the border crisis, develop a plan, and, in no uncertain terms, strongly discourage individuals from Mexico and Central America from ever making the dangerous journey to our southern border,” he concluded. “I look forward to your response and speaking with you in person about this situation.”
The latest: The White House confirmed Thursday evening that Biden has asked some of his top officials to visit the border “to provide a full briefing to him on the government response to the influx of unaccompanied minors.”
- Biden and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei agreed during a call Thursday evening for their teams “to meet in the coming weeks to develop an effective and humane plan of action to manage migration,” according to the White House readout. Guatemala is one of the top countries of origin for people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
- U.S. agencies charged with border enforcement and the care of migrant children have been moving to rapidly open overflow shelters to hold the rising number of migrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s family detentions center are also being revamped to more quickly release migrant families into the country.