President Joe Biden called upon Secretary of State Antony Blinken to ask Congress for more than $50 million to support an “unexpected urgent” need presented by refugees and migrants, according to a Monday White House memo.
Biden asked Blinken to make the $50.3 million request to Congress in order to address the issue across the western hemisphere, the memo stated. The announcement comes ahead of an expected migration surge at the U.S.-Mexico border when Title 42, the public health order invoked by the Trump administration during the COVID-19 pandemic, ends May 11. (RELATED: ‘Release Everybody’: Former Top Border Officials Pour Cold Water On Biden’s Plan After Trump-Era Expulsions Stop)
“By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962 (22 U.S.C. 2601(c)(1)) (MRAA), I hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the MRAA, that it is important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the MRAA in an amount not to exceed $50.3 million from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs in the Western Hemisphere, including through contributions to international organizations by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State,” Biden’s request read.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas unveiled plans Thursday to address the post-Title 42 surge that include new legal pathways for certain migrants to come to the U.S., penalties for illegal entry and migrant processing centers in Latin America.
“Migration is the definition of a challenge that no country can solve alone. The magnitude, the range of drivers, the push and pull factors all demand that we work together,” Blinken said during the announcement.
The Texas border cities of El Paso and Laredo both made declarations at the local level Sunday to free up more resources and address the expected influx with more shelter capacity, staffing and transportation.
“We’re starting to pick up some momentum as asylum seekers are around the streets of downtown El Paso and other areas of our community and we need to make sure that we continue to protect not only the asylum seekers, but also our community,” Democratic El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said Sunday.
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