The Biden administration is considering flying migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to near the U.S.-Canada border for processing as a way to ease pressure on overwhelmed facilities in Texas, according to a new report. .
The tactic is under consideration amid a surge in border crossings that critics blame on President Biden’s policies and the reform of legislation that would create a path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants.
Two Department of Homeland Security officials told the Washington Post that the administration is considering aerial lifts to the northern border due to the large number of unaccompanied children and families crossing in the south.
Authorities told the Washington Post that on Friday morning 1,000 people who were unaccompanied minors or in family units crossed the Rio Grande into Texas, with another 1,000 still waiting to be processed as of Thursday night.
The Biden administration has been using a Trump-era COVID-19 policy to expel most single adults, but has said that all unaccompanied children will be admitted at least temporarily and that families will only be expelled if Mexico has space. to house them.
The new figures point to a growing crisis.
Along the U.S.-Mexico border in February, there were 29,792 children detained without their parents, about five times more than in January, of which 2,942 were under the age of 12, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. USA
The total number of people detained along the Mexican border rose to more than 100,000 in February, a 28 percent increase from January.
Democratic leaders insisted on Friday that the border situation was “under control” when Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas traveled to the southern border to inspect the facilities. Mayorkas’s trip was closed to the press.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Said “I think the administration is controlling this,” while acknowledging that the Biden administration has changed some policies, such as stopping expelling minors.
“In the spring, more people are coming, so there will be more like now,” Pelosi said at a news conference on Friday.
“The Biden administration has this under control. It will take something, it is a change and it will take some time. But it is based on values, it is humanitarian in its aspects and pragmatic with a plan to get things done. “
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed bills that would create a path to citizenship for up to half of the estimated illegal immigrants in the United States, including farm workers and children who arrived as minors. Many Republicans said the bills create new “pulls” for migration.
Last month, Biden ended Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that required Central American asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while US courts reviewed their claims.
Biden halted the construction of his predecessor’s Mexico border wall and issued an order affirming the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants work permits and protection from deportation to people illegally brought into the United States when they were minors.
Biden also proposed legislation to create a path to citizenship for nearly all of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US On Thursday, Biden tweeted that he wanted Congress to pass legislation that would “legalize the undocumented population. in United States”.