The Biden administration on Monday (March 22) appointed a special envoy to help oversee its efforts to stem the steady flow of Central American migrants across the U.S. southern border. Biden is already facing bipartisan pressure to address the crisis.
The Biden Administration has asked Ricardo Zúñiga to serve as a special envoy to the Northern Triangle. The Northern Triangle is made up of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. These three countries have long been important sources of illegal immigration to the United States.
Last week, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele told Fox News that the soaring number of migrants at the (U.S.) southern border is bad for the U.S. and even worse for Latin America because it attracts people who are vital to building a solid financial situation in the S.A. Boukry said current U.S. immigration policies are incentivizing Salvadorans to travel to the United States.
Zuniga will engage with governments and non-governmental organizations in the region, including but not limited to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, to improve conditions in Central America and keep potential migrants in their Home countries, State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter told reporters Monday.
He added that [he will also] hold government actors accountable for their commitment to address the root causes of migration and also for the commitment to address the increased number of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children at the border. He will also keep Congress informed of our efforts, saying “this is one of our highest priorities.
Former White House Secretary: Reporters Should Put Pressure on Biden
President Biden is scheduled to hold his first official press conference on Thursday (March 25), and former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News anchor Hannity that reporters must put pressure on Biden about the situation at the southern border.
McEnany said, “It’s incredible that the Biden White House was able to get away with this …… The press needs to ask him these very tough questions. And I’m not just talking about, you know, asking him ‘What do you think about the border?’ Questions like that aren’t enough.”
“They need to ask him, ‘You say you’re blaming this on Trump. Please explain to me how this is Trump’s fault.’ The fact is, when he (Trump) took historic immigration action in 2019, the numbers went down. (Now) they’re coming back. They’re still wearing Biden T-shirts, waving Biden flags and saying on camera that they’re here because of you (Biden). He (Biden) needs to go and confront these directly.”
Trump: They will come in millions
In response to the growing number of illegal immigrants crossing the border, Trump told the hosts of Fox News’ “Lisa Boothe’s Podcast” on Monday, “They’re coming by the millions. “
“It’s nothing compared to what’s going to happen in a few months,” Trump said. “As I’ve said before, there are some very bad people (referring to illegal immigrant criminals) and we’re bringing them into our country, and that’s crazy.”
“A lot of the people who are coming in are not non-violent people. They’re violent people, and a lot of them are coming, and they’re not the best people.” Trump said in a phone call.
He added, “There are criminals, there are murderers, there are sex traffickers among the people who come. There are a lot of very bad people that have been let into our country. And there’s nothing they (the Biden administration) can do about it. They’re going to be released or they’ve been released (into the United States). Yesterday, they announced they were going to let them into the United States. Without going through the courts, nothing (procedure). They’re destroying our country in a very crazy way.”
Trump said, “Again, we want people to come in, but they have to be able to help our country, they have to be credentialed to come in. They have to come in legally.”
Bipartisan lawmakers send letter to Biden: Should work together on border crisis
Democratic U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema joined Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in calling on Biden to use his “full authority” to address the border crisis. In a letter, they urged Biden to use his “full authority to effectively respond to and successfully manage the ongoing crisis on our southwest border. They both argued that the Biden administration should take the “radical steps” necessary to “protect our communities and ensure that refugees are treated fairly and humanely” and to secure the border.
Sinema and Cornyn will work with their congressional colleagues to “develop a bipartisan consensus and common-sense response to the surge in immigration at the border,” and hope to work with all levels of government.
In their letter, they said.
“Your administration should take immediate action in two areas: ensuring that the border has adequate resources and facilities to handle the crisis, and taking concrete steps to improve the asylum process. Both are critical to improving how our nation handles this situation.”
“Border Patrol in our southwest border states has reported an alarming increase in the number of people seeking to enter the U.S. in recent weeks. The Department of Homeland Security is encountering more individuals at the border this fiscal year compared to the past 20 years, according to Secretary Mayorkas (D-MD). As of the end of February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that 382,617 people have come to the border since the start of the fiscal year in October, compared to only 405,036 people coming to the U.S. in all of fiscal year 2020. This underscores the need to increase the appropriate resources and qualified personnel to meet this challenge at the Southwest border. This will ultimately help secure the border and keep both local communities and immigrants safe. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently decided to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide short-term assistance to CBP and the Department of health and Human Services (HHS) to provide safe housing and care for unaccompanied children (UAC). This is a constructive effort on our part, and hopefully your authorities can do the same elsewhere.”
They also said that current facilities and services are inadequate to meet the current challenges. It is critical that every effort be made to improve the living conditions of those held by DHS. Clearly, DHS needs to improve coordination and cooperation among its various components, other federal agencies (especially with the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)) and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Two senators revealed their support for “DHS to create regional processing facilities,” including personnel from agencies such as CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and HHS. ” “This will help them work together effectively and quickly on issues such as identification, medical screening and determinations of credible fear, and asylum interviews.”
The two senators continued to urge Biden to work together in the midst of a “continuing crisis. They insisted, referring to the challenges already facing border communities and NGOs, which are urgently needed by the federal government. The senators will work with their colleagues and the administration to reach a bipartisan agreement to “improve the situation at our border and ensure the safety of our communities.
Democratic lawmakers are forming a group to visit the border
Representatives Joaquin Castro of Texas and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota will travel to the South later this week to inspect immigration facilities where unaccompanied migrant children live. They are also concerned about the growing crisis at the southern border.
Castro tweeted Monday that he is organizing a “delegation” of House Democrats to make the border visit. According to CBS News, more than 15,000 unaccompanied minors are being detained at federal facilities.
Castro tweeted, “On Friday, I will lead a delegation to the Carrizo Springs facility at the border where unaccompanied children are held – to visit to ensure humane treatment and orderly procedures to reunite children with their families. reunited with their families.” “For any member of Congress who would like to attend, please contact my office.”
And neither Biden nor Harris has plans to visit the border yet.