UPDATED 2:30 PM PT – Thursday, March 11, 2021
The number of illegal migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, has continued to spike at the border in what Republicans have said is a direct result of the Biden administration’s actions.
On Wednesday, statistics by Customs and Border Patrol showed the number of children and families arriving at the border had increased by more than 100 percent between January and February. This included more than 9,400 children attempting to cross the border themselves.
According to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Thursday, in February alone, there were more than 100,000 migrant encounters.
“In one month, 100,000. Those are the ones we encountered, not the ones that got through that people did not see,” McCarthy noted. “What does that equate to? Joe Biden’s hometown: Scranton, Pennsylvania? 100,000 is a higher population than Scranton, in one month.”
A GOP delegation led by McCarthy said they’re gearing up to head to Texas to see the border situation for themselves. They added that migrants were drawn by promises of amnesty and a bill backed by Joe Biden and Democrats, which offered citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants.
Meanwhile, Biden has simultaneously worked to keep schools in the U.S. closed.
“It’s the wrong message for America and it’s doing a disservice to those people in those caravans who are being abused every single day,” Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R) stated. “It’s got to stop. [Joe] Biden created this problem. [Joe] Biden needs to fix this problem.”
Former top immigration agents have said the crisis on the border is a direct result of promises Biden made while running for president, in addition to the differences between the Biden and Trump administration policies.
Furthermore, the Biden administration has assured the border is “closed,” yet has struggled to find housing for the surge in unaccompanied minors. The administration has also continued to take heat for holding onto children for extended periods of time in border patrol cells meant for adults.
“We’re calling on the Biden administration to take action immediately to secure the border, to stop what we’re seeing happen, to change the policies, to make clear that the hundreds of thousands of people that we’ve seen now attempting to enter the country illegally will not be able to do so,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said.
Analysts believe the border issues will likely be a hot-button topic for the 2022 midterms, with Republicans using it as a starting point to regain seats in the House, Senate and possibly beyond into the 2024 election.