The growing number of unaccompanied migrant children showing up the U.S.–Mexico border is no national emergency — at least, not in the eyes of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
According to Fox News, Psaki and others in the Biden administration — including the president himself — have refused to describe the growing problem as a “crisis” on multiple occasions, though they were happy to use that terminology when discussing then-President Donald Trump.
It’s a development that has Texas Republican Rep. Lance Gooden and others in his party crying foul.
“There is a crisis at our southern border,” Gooden, joined by more than two dozen other members of the House GOP, wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden on Friday, according to the Washington Examiner. “It is critical that our leaders recognize the severity of the circumstances and respond accordingly.”
“An immigration crisis is underway”
In their letter, the group of House Republicans revealed that upwards of 117,000 unaccompanied minors are expected to cross the U.S.–Mexico border in 2021 alone, a dangerous trek that the GOP members suggested could expose the children to sex traffickers and drug smugglers.
“Following a surge of migrants crossing our border in January of this year, U.S. Customs & Border Patrol (CBP) announced that they ‘faced a growing number of individuals attempting to cross the southwest border, averaging about 3,000 arrests per day in January 2021,'” the House Republicans wrote Friday, according to the Examiner. “Their latest estimates approximate that 117,000 unaccompanied children will cross our border this year. They will travel amongst human traffickers and drug smugglers to get here.”
The House Republicans also charged that Biden’s administration has “encouraged” the surge in immigration by refusing to enforce existing immigration laws.
“Your administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws has encouraged countless migrants to make the treacherous journey across our border,” they wrote to Biden. “We urge you to recognize that an immigration crisis is underway and reinstate a national emergency concerning our southern border.”
“I’ve seen this before”
According to The Epoch Times, Gooden’s admonition comes in the wake of a similar warning from a member of Biden’s own party, Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, who predicted that a full-blown humanitarian crisis is in the making.
“I can tell you this, those numbers of people that are being released, they’re purposely withholding that information,” Cuellar said in an interview with Fox News on Saturday, according to the Times.
“They’ve been told not to withhold that information,” the border-state congressman explained. “I now know that they’re bringing people from McAllen over to Laredo, processing them in Laredo, and they’re going to release them in my community… I’ve seen this before.”
The controversy comes as President Biden recently moved to shift the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s priorities regarding deportation, a move even the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has called a “disappointing step backward,” as Fox News reports.