Republicans are urging President Joe Biden to take the border crisis seriously as thousands of illegal immigrants surge across the southern border seeking asylum in the U.S.
Hundreds of migrant families have flooded Border Patrol stations in the first weeks of Biden’s administration, leading to reports about packed cells and unaccompanied children having to care for each other.
The Trump administration faced heavy criticism when it faced a similar crisis in 2019, but Biden has not yet addressed the crisis or what he plans to do about it.
“It is concerning to see your administration perceives our border security issues as a political game instead of the very serious threat open borders provide to Americans and the migrants seeking to come here,” a letter from more than 50 House Republicans to Biden stated.
“This is not a political game—we implore you not let ideology blind your Administration to the need to secure the border, to defend Americans, and to prevent another cartel-empowering humanitarian crisis.”
The lawmakers also asked Biden to direct Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to brief the entire House on the rapidly developing situation.
Illegal border crossings are already up by 64%, according to former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan.
Much of this illegal immigration began to occur before Biden was even president, as caravans headed to the U.S. in anticipation of Biden’s loose immigration policies.
“If your policy consists of stopping deportation for almost four months, discontinuing or not supporting Title 42, revoking the Migrant Protection Protocols,” Morgan said, “the message you’re sending is clear and simple: We have open borders.”
Border Patrol agents are already being forced to release dozens of migrant families into the U.S. because their holding centers have been overwhelmed by the flood of migrants.
Even the Mexican government said it is unable to help U.S. border agents because their facilities are at full capacity, too.
“Mexico is raising the flag, saying, ‘Hey, this is a capacity issue. The numbers are just too great,’” said Morgan, adding that the Border Patrol averaged 3,000 apprehensions per day during a three-week stretch in January. “We haven’t seen numbers like that since sometime in 2019.”
Biden was aware that this crisis was oncoming but still pushed policies that encouraged illegal immigration, the House Republicans argued.
“Despite these rising numbers, on your first day as president, you signed multiple executive orders (EO) aimed at dismantling the security of our borders—rescinding policies from the Trump administration that were working as intended to halt the flow of illegal migration,” the letter stated.
Last March, border apprehensions dropped to 17,000. As of December, apprehensions hit 70,000. And this month, Morgan predicts Border Patrol will have apprehended more than 90,000 illegal immigrants.
“The fundamental responsibility of the federal government is to protect America, not to ignore the law and to actively encourage, incentivize, and facilitate illegal migration in ways that empower cartels and endanger both American citizens and migrants wrongly being encouraged to succumb to the perilous journey,” the Republicans said.