A majority of immigrant families apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border were allowed to enter the country in February, according to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Only 38 percent of the families apprehended at the border were released into the country in January, according to The Washington Post.
“If you let them in, more will come. That’s the critical failing of the Biden administration’s current policy,” Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas tweeted.
“The word is out that the borders are open, and this crisis will get worse unless the administration changes course.”
If you let them in, more will come. That’s the critical failing of the Biden administration’s current policy. The word is out that the borders are open, and this crisis will get worse unless the administration changes course.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 16, 2021
Administration officials claimed thousands of migrants are still being turned away under the Trump administration’s Title 42 public health order passed in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Post reported.
Over 100,000 migrants were apprehended at the border in February alone, according to CBP data.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has refused to label the situation at the border a “crisis” despite an overwhelming number of migrants, including unaccompanied minors, flocking daily to the border.
“The situation at the southwest border is difficult. We are working around the clock to manage it and we will continue to do so,” Mayorkas said in a statement Tuesday.
“That is our job. We are making progress and we are executing on our plan. It will take time and we will not waver in our commitment to succeed,” he added.
“We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”
According to The Post, Mayorkas told the House Homeland Security Committee in a Wednesday testimony that the upward trend in migration was due to poor conditions in the countries migrants are fleeing from.
Republican Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana reportedly said Mayorkas’ testimony was “nauseating.”
Detentions at the border have surged since Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 and leaked documents from the Department of Health and Human Services revealed an overwhelming number of child migrants crossing the border, stretching the Biden administration’s resources.
In the last week of February, 321 children per day were referred to HHS custody, a sharp jump from the weekly average of 203 in late January and early February, according to documents reviewed by Axios.
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