President Joe Biden’s administration will spend $86 million to house migrants crossing the southern border in hotels, according to a new report.
Around 1,200 migrant family members will be housed in the hotels as part of a contract awarded by administration, Axios reported Saturday. Illegal border crossings have surged since Biden took office, and detention facilities holding unaccompanied minors have reached capacity at the southern border. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Biden Scrapped These Major Trump Border Policies Before The Crisis Started)
The contract through Endeavors, a Texas-based nonprofit, is for six months but could be extended and expanded. The hotels will be near border areas, including in Arizona and Texas. https://t.co/RQSkLuXEXK
— Axios (@axios) March 20, 2021
The hotels will reportedly be in Arizona and Texas, and the contract will start at six months with the option to extend it, DHS officials told Axios. Hotels have been used in the past to house excess migrants at the border when illegal crossers cannot be processed quickly enough, including during the Trump administration in 2020, according to Axios.
The number of migrant family members crossing the border nearly tripled between January and February, according to Customs and Border Patrol. Border patrol agents encountered more than 100,000 illegal crossers in February, about 9,000 of which were unaccompanied minors. That’s almost triple what the number was in February 2020.
Republicans and media members have pressured the Biden administration on how it will respond to the growing surge of migrants at the southern border. Biden administration officials have refused to call the situation a “crisis” until White House press secretary Jen Psaki used the term this week, although she then backtracked. (RELATED: ‘Sanctuary State’ Governor Faces Backlash From Pro-Illegal Immigration Groups Over COVID-19 Relief Benefits)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the Biden administration has the situation “under control.” Biden’s team has reportedly pressured Mexico to step up its own border enforcement to slow the flow of migrants coming from Central America.