The Biden administration is facing a dramatic surge in unaccompanied children at the border, a sign of how resources have been overwhelmed within just a few months of the new administration.
Axios reports that in the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred an average of 321 minors per day to Health and Human Services (HHS). It’s a dramatic increase from 47 at the beginning of January and an average of 203 in early February, the outlet reported.
REPUBLICANS DEMAND HEARING ON SURGE OF UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN AT BORDER AS ADMINISTRATION DENIES CRISIS
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and HHS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The administration has been facing down a surge in migrant numbers as it has also worked rapidly to end a series of Trump-era border protections and other measures that had been designed to end the “pull factors” drawing migrants north.
Biden’s administration has wound down the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), ended construction of the border wall, and restarted catch-and-release – by which migrants are released into the U.S. interior. That practice was ended by the Trump administration in 2019.
It has kept in place Title 42 protections – which allow for migrants to be turned around quickly due to the coronavirus pandemic – but it has so far not sought to apply them to unaccompanied children.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Monday that DHS is working to “replace the cruelty” of the Trump administration with “an orderly, humane and safe immigration process.”
“We are not saying don’t come. 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 said.
REPUBLICANS WANT BRIEFING FROM MAYORKAS AFTER DHS CHIEF CLAIMS ‘NO BORDER CRISIS’
Republicans and Trump-era officials have warned about a surge in migrants at the border and blamed it squarely on Biden.
“It took the new administration only a few weeks to turn this unprecedented accomplishment into a self-inflicted humanitarian and national security disaster,” former President Donald Trump said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, have requested a briefing on the crisis.
“Proper oversight requires that subcommittee members have the opportunity to hear directly from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials, and to question them about the escalating crisis and whether they have plans to stop the surge,” the letter to Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said.