Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin panned President Joe Biden’s handling of an influx of unaccompanied minors through the Southern Border Monday, calling it “a crisis.”
“Oh it’s a crisis,” Manchin told CNN in an evening interview. “Whatever message was sent—it was sure interpreted the wrong way.”
— The Hill (@thehill) March 16, 2021
Manchin was the latest Democrat to break ranks with the Biden administration and label the increased levels of illegal immigrants a “crisis.” Texas Democratic Reps. Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar, both of whom represent districts along the Mexican border, have expressed concern about the high number of illegal immigrants being released into their districts. The Biden administration has so far resisted calling the increasing number of illegal immigrants and unaccompanied minors a crisis, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki calling the situation a “challenge.”
Internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that shelter beds for unaccompanied minors were at 94% capacity and would be 100% filled by the end of March. Many of the minors were held in facilities designed for adults longer than is legally permissible. (RELATED: CDC Allows Child Migrant Facilities To Operate At 100% Capacity)
Some Republicans blamed Biden’s policies and messaging for the increased influx of illegal immigrants. “We have so many unaccompanied minors, and it’s all a result of President Biden saying, ‘Come on down and come across our border,'” Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott said.
“Joe Biden halted wall construction, implemented ‘catch and release,’ rescinded Trump era-policies to control entry, dismantled enforcement and deportations all while promising amnesty for illegal aliens,” Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz added.
The House of Representatives is currently considering a pair of immigration bills that would provide a pathway to citizenship for unaccompanied minors and streamline the visa application process for seasonal farmworkers. Manchin was a supporter in 2019 of a deal that would have included money for then-President Donald Trump’s border wall and comprehensive immigration reform, The Hill reported.