President Joe Biden is expected to face his first crisis as commander-in-chief with a record surge of illegal minors at the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios reports.
The Biden administration’s reversal of the Trump administration’s decision to return all unaccompanied minors to Mexico rather than bringing them into U.S. custody is a leading factor for smugglers sending 2,000 children over the border each week this month, the Washington Examiner reports.
This year alone, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) projects there will be 117,000 unaccompanied child migrants crossing the border without proper shelter available.
“I actually think that’s an undercount,” Victor Manjarrez, Jr., a former senior Border Patrol agent who teaches about law and human behavior at the University of Texas at El Paso, told the Washington Examiner.
Manjarrez pointed to the Biden administration’s decision to discontinue the 10-month practice of returning all unaccompanied children to Mexico rather than bringing them into U.S. custody as a leading factor for smugglers sending 2,000 children over the border each week this month. After taking office in January, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas directed border officials not to send any single child south of the border, choosing instead to stick along the lines of a 2007 trafficking law that protected most single children from being deported.
Axios sources say HHS is expected to reach its shelter capacity this month, but the Biden administration is downplaying the issue.
On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the current situation at the border is not a crisis.
Biden is expected to attend a private briefing on the border Tuesday.