The Biden administration continues to struggle with dealing with the migrant crisis it created with its public embrace of open borders policies. A recent report revealed that young migrant girls have been held in Border Patrol tents for weeks, which is far longer than is supposed to be the case.
The Washington Examiner reported that “young girls who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without parents and were taken into custody by federal agents have been held in a Border Patrol tent for three weeks due to space shortages at government health facilities.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), whose district lies on the southern border, said he just recently learned that the government is not moving girls out of the detention facilities at a fast enough pace. However, it has transferred boys to Health and Human Services (HHS) far quicker.
“What’s happening at Donna Border Patrol facility is they’re moving boys out, but they’re not moving girls,” Cuellar said on Wednesday during an interview with the Examiner. “There are some girls there that have been there over 20 days, over 20 days, when they’re supposed to be there only 72 hours.”
“Cuellar added that he did not fault the Border Patrol for neglecting to move the girls out of its pop-up facility in South Texas but that the federal agency is supposed to hand children over to HHS. Because the health department has not secured enough beds, the girls have no place to go. Boys and girls are not held in the same rooms at HHS facilities,” according to the Examiner.
Cuellar argued that “they can’t release them out in the streets.” He continued, “People say, ‘Well, you got to get them to the families.’ Well, Border Patrol — that’s not their mission. They’re not going to do that. It’s the job of HHS ORR [Office Refugee Resettlement], and they have to move faster. And apparently, they’ve moved to set up facilities for boys, but now they’re going to move faster to move facilities for girls.”
The lawmaker explained that HHS will open more facilities in San Antonio, Texas. On Wednesday, the agency announced that the San Diego Convention Center in California would be housing up to 2,000 unaccompanied minors. “It is the fifth emergency facility to be opened up by the Biden administration as children increasingly show up on the southern border,” according to the Examiner.
The report noted that the White House’s decision to remove the measures that the Trump administration put into place was one of the primary contributors to the migrant crisis taking place at the southern border. The author wrote:
Last March, at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Border Patrol began immediately returning all adults and children to their home countries in an effort to avoid filling detention centers with people amid the coronavirus pandemic. In January, President Joe Biden stopped sending single minors under the age of 18 back to their home countries. Since then, the number of children coming over the southern border has exploded.
The number of migrant children traveling to the border is staggering. As of Tuesday, Border Patrol had about 5,000 children in its custody. HHS has about 11,500. But officials predict that about 117,000 unaccompanied minors will travel to the border in 2021, which is far higher than the amount that arrived in 2014 (68,000) and 2019 (80,000).
Typically, when children cross the border between ports of entry to which migrants are required to enter the country, Border Patrol agents take them to stations to be processed. These stations are only meant to hold children for a maximum of three days before they are taken to other agencies or brought back over the border.
Border Patrol usually transfers these children to HHS, which would then house the children until they find adults in the United States who can claim custody. This process normally takes about one month. Each of these children will go through proceedings in court, “but the process can take years due to a significant backlog,” according to the Examiner.
Biden campaigned on bold promises to improve America’s immigration system. So far, he has managed to create a migrant crisis on the border that is worse than any that occurred under the Trump administration. Not exactly a great start, is it?
However, we already know where this is going. Somehow, the Biden administration will attempt to turn this into a reason to push for more open borders policies, arguing that instead of making it so difficult for migrants to enter the country, we should just admit them into the country. That would be the humanitarian thing to do, right? But what remains to be seen is whether or not the public will buy this solution.