Lawmakers head to U.S.-Mexico border as Biden administration struggles to handle immigration crisis

Joe Biden (Photo: USA Today)

WASHINGTON – Groups of lawmakers traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday, March 26th, as the Biden administration continues to come under fire by both Republican and Democrats for the influx of migrants at the southern border.

Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both of Texas, are leading a group of more than a dozen Republican senators to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. That area is seeing some of the largest numbers of migrants crossing into the United States.

The lawmakers received a briefing by officials on the situation at the border, are touring the Customs and Border Protection Facility in Donna, Texas, and taking a boat tour in Mission, Texas.

In addition, Rep. Joaquin Castro, D- Texas, is leading a group of Democratic House members on a tour of Carrizo Springs, a temporary influx facility for children that is run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Republicans and Democrats have called the situation on the border a “crisis,” a term the White House has refused to use. President Joe Biden on Thursday said “a vast majority” of migrants coming to the U.S. are being sent back.

“If you take a look at the number of people who are coming, the vast majority, the overwhelming majority of people coming to the border and crossing are being sent back,” Biden said during a press conference. “Tens of thousands of people who are, who are over 18 years of age and single… have been sent back, sent home.”

An increased number of migrant children are being accepted into the United States, leading to overcrowding in short-term, jail-like facilities run by Customs and Border Protection, including in facilities in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Biden administration has struggled to move children quickly out of those facilities and into those run by Health and Human Services, like the facility in Carrizo Springs. By law, children are supposed to be moved out of CBP facilities within 72 hours.

Biden announced Wednesday that Vice President Kamala Harris is taking the lead in mitigating migration at the border by working with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

As of Thursday, Health and Human Services had 11,900 unaccompanied minors in its care, while another 5,156 children were in CBP custody.

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