House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has requested a meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss the rapid influx of child migrants crossing the border.
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.
The number of migrant kids crossing the border is on pace to exceed the record by 45 percent and the administration does not have enough beds to shelter them all, according to the New York Post.
“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,” McCarthy wrote in his letter.
The California Republican pointed to comments made by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas about people seeking to illegally enter the country.
“We are not saying don’t come,” Maryorkas said on Monday, according to Fox News.
“We are saying don’t come now, because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process for them as quickly as possible.”
He also insisted that there is “a challenge” not a crisis at the border.
“To be clear — there is never a ‘right time’ to enter the country illegally and violate the laws of the United States,” McCarthy said in response.
Ranking members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees have also sent letters this week asking to meet with Biden about the developing situation at the border, Axios reported.
The White House confirmed that Biden has asked 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 also agreed to have their teams “meet in the coming weeks to develop an effective and humane plan of action to manage migration,” according to a readout from the Thursday call.
The HHS had to reopen an emergency shelter in Texas on Feb. 22 and is considering reopening a similarly controversial facility in Florida to try to provide additional housing for the children.
The emergency facility was reactivated to hold up to 700 children ages 13 to 17, The Washington Post reported.
The shelter system is already at 94 percent occupancy and is expected to reach maximum occupancy this month, according to leaked documents reviewed by Axios.
The HHS has also increased the speed with which children are released to caretakers already in the United States.
The data shows that an average of 174 children per day were released from HHS custody in the last week of February.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.