WASHINGTON – Vice President Kamala Harris will not visit the Mexican border anytime soon as part of her activities to cope with the increase in the number of immigrants trying to enter the United States.
Harris has no plans to visit the region “in the near future,” spokeswoman Symone Sanders said Friday.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked the vice president to lead diplomatic efforts to address an increase in the number of immigrants, many of whom come from the countries of the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America.
“The vice president will not visit the border,” Sanders told reporters on a flight to Connecticut, where Harris is promoting the government’s financial support package for COVID-19. Sanders added that Harris will visit the border at some point, but stressed the diplomatic nature of his role.
Harris has been widely informed about the Northern Triangle and Latin America, and will soon begin the diplomatic part of her mission. “They can expect that he will speak to leaders in the region in the near future,” Sanders said.
The Biden administration supports a proposal to provide $ 7 billion in assistance to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He believes that such support can address the poverty and violence that cause people to leave their homeland for the United States.
Juliana Monsalve has the information.
US authorities apprehended more than 100,000 people trying to cross the border in February, the most since the spring of 2019. The Biden administration is denying most immigrants under a public health warrant issued when The COVID-19 pandemic began, but it is allowing children and adolescents who travel without the company of an adult relative, and some families, to remain in the United States, at least temporarily.
The increase in arrivals has put pressure on the ability of the Border Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to accommodate them. HHS takes care of minors until they can be released to relatives or patrons in the United States as authorities determine if they have a legal right to stay in the country, either through asylum or for some other reason.
It has also become a political headache for Biden. Republicans blame the new administration for the surge in migrant arrivals, saying the president encouraged people to come by suspending the border wall construction project, ending restrictions on asylum imposed by former President Donald Trump and endorsing a bill that would allow millions of people already in the country to naturalize over time.
Senator Cruz said after his tour of the Mexico-Texas border that Donna’s facility, where the migrant children are being taken, is overcrowded, blaming the Biden government for failing to stop the flow of people arriving across the border. from Mexico.
The Senator Ted Cruz led a delegation of lawmakers on Friday that visited the border area. He tweeted photos of dozens of minors, covered in isothermal blankets, reclining on the floor of crowded Border Patrol facilities.
“This is a humanitarian and public health crisis,” said the Republican.
At a news conference Thursday, Biden vowed to redouble efforts to get teens and children out of crowded Border Patrol facilities and into HHS shelters more quickly, but the overall situation does not appear to be improving.
President Joe Biden‘s administration released new images of border detention centers on Tuesday after facing criticism for limiting media and other access to the facilities. Juliana Monsalve reports
A senior Border Patrol official told reporters on Friday that encounters with immigrants along the southwestern border have averaged about 5,000 people a day so far in March, an increase of about 50% over February if those figures hold up throughout the month.
Of the total, between 450 and 500 a day are unaccompanied minors, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity so that he could testify on preliminary figures.
It is not uncommon to see increases in the number of immigrants crossing the border at this time of year, and the Border Patrol has faced similar situations in the past, the official noted. But the large number of teens and children and space limitations due to the pandemic have made this year especially difficult.