Republican members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform called for hearings on the increasing number of unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the United States.
“In just one week in February, the Border Patrol stopped more than 2,000 unaccompanied children crossing the southern border,” 20 Republicans wrote in a March 4 letter to Democratic New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee.
????BREAKING????@JoeBiden‘s open border policies have led to thousands of unaccompanied children being held in nearly overflowing container facilities. We’ve sent a letter to @RepMaloney demanding a hearing on how the Admin plans to mitigate this crisis of their own making. pic.twitter.com/LrZP83k915
— Oversight Committee Republicans (@GOPoversight) March 4, 2021
The House Republicans said that “thirteen thousand unaccompanied children are projected to cross the border in May alone,” more than during the entire 2019 crisis, when Democrats hammered then-President Donald Trump for holding “kids in cages.” (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Says The US Is ‘Running Concentration Camps On Our Southern Border’)
“This Committee must schedule a hearing to conduct oversight of the welfare of migrant children being held in these container facilities,” they conclude.
Some experts have warned that President Joe Biden’s immigration policy, which includes a deportation freeze and the promise of green cards to DACA recipients, would incentivize Central American migrants to present themselves for entry at the southern border.
“After DACA discussions during the Obama administration, there was a surge. After Biden won the presidency, there has been a surge of caravans on the way,” the Heritage Foundation’s Mike Howell told the Daily Caller in January. “We underestimate how much these NGOs and those spreading information south of the border to the caravan organizers truly understand American law and our immigration policies.”
White House officials are refusing to publicly use the word “crisis” to describe the increasing number of unaccompanied minors presenting themselves at the border. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters on March 1 that “We are not saying don’t come, we are saying don’t come now.” He further emphasized that the United States is dealing with “a challenge at the border,” but that it should not be considered a crisis.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on March 3 that she doesn’t “think we need to meet your bar of what we need to call it… We’re going to approach this without labeling.”
The Biden Administration’s shelter system for unaccompanied minors is currently 94% full, according to internal documents. Those same documents expect the shelters to be completely full by the end of March.