A Texas Democrat from the border city of Laredo on Monday criticized the Biden administration for failing to deal efficiently with the overcrowded and overcrowded migrant processing facilities in the US.
“They’re not moving fast enough, with all due respect,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar. “These children should be transferred as soon as possible to Health and Human Services.”
Cuellar posted photos taken inside a border detention center in Donna, Texas, to draw attention to the wave of unaccompanied migrant children entering the United States in the two months since Biden took office. The images show hundreds of young migrants huddled inside tents, sleeping on mats with thin aluminum blankets and watching small televisions in the corners.
Nearly 16,000 migrant children were in U.S. custody as of Sunday, and more than 800 unaccompanied migrant children have been in Border Patrol custody for more than 10 days, far longer than the legal limit of 72 hours, according to a NBC News report.
Cuellar told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the Biden administration must “work with Mexico and Central America … to make sure those countries are helping us.” The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
President Biden has appointed two members of the National Security Council, Roberta Jacobson and Juan González, to address the growing influx of migrants at the border. Jacobson and González will meet with officials from Mexico and Guatemala.
Cuellar told host Shepard Smith that the meetings are a promising step, but “they should have done it a long time ago.”
The head of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, defended the handling of the border situation by the White House on Sunday, saying that the border is closed. It did not provide a timeline for when new facilities would open to help with overcrowding.