Politics Biden officials say worsening border stats ‘overstate’ problem because of repeat crossers
House Republicans demand Biden remove Harris as immigration czar
House Republicans have demanded that President Joe Biden remove Kamala Harris from her role as immigration crisis czar as she still hasn't visited the border.The 56 lawmakers, led by Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., penned a letter on Thursday with a scathing review of Harris' performance after she was tapped on March 24 to lead the administration's response to the immigration crisis at the southern border.
Biden administration officials defended another month of extremely high numbers of unauthorized crossings at the southern border in May, blaming the statistics for overstating and misrepresenting the situation.
Federal law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico boundary encountered 180,034 people who tried to enter the country illegally in May, the highest number in more than two decades. The May total was up fromand . Still, administration officials who spoke with reporters in a call Thursday afternoon said law enforcement is seeing the same people more than once in a month. Hence, the numbers are not indicative of the underlying situation.
Mayorkas says it is 'unfair' to criticize Harris on the border
South Carolina GOP Rep. Ralph Norman tore into DHS Secratary Alejandro Mayorkas on when he suggested it was 'quite unfair' to criticize Kamala Harris for not visiting the border. The Biden administration announced Harris would be the 'border czar' 86 days ago, but she still hasn't been to the wall and has been under scrutiny for her visit to Mexico and Guatemala two weeks ago to address the 'root causes' of migration.Norman started the House Homeland Security Committee hearing by asking Mayorkas whether Harris should visit the border.'I consider that question to be quite unfair,' Mayorkas replied.
“There's a difference between encounters and individuals,” said an official who was authorized to speak with media anonymously. “There are, right now, an unusual number of repeat crossers, but the number of actual individuals who attempt to cross is down from April and a little over 20,000 lower than May of 2019.”
A Department of Homeland Security official who separately testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations during the White House call defended the 180,000-encounter figure on the same basis.
“While recent encounter numbers are high, they also somewhat overstate migration flows, particularly among single adults,” DHS Assistant Secretary for Border Security and Immigration David Shahoulian wrote in his opening.
Biden and his aviators greet queen on a sunny afternoon
WINDSOR, England (AP) — President Joe Biden and his aviator sunglasses met Queen Elizabeth II on bright Sunday afternoon. The queen hosted the president and first lady Jill Biden at Windsor Castle, her royal residence near London. Biden flew to London after wrapping up his participation in a three-day summit of leaders of the world's wealthy democracies in Cornwall, in southwestern England. He arrived at the castle aboard the presidential helicopter and was ferried to the queen in a black Range Rover.
In May, more than 121,000 of the 180,000 encounters were single adults. The 121,000 figure is nearly six times the 21,000 adults seen in May of 2020. Shahoulian said more people are trying to get in because they know they will not be referred for prosecution for unlawful entry because the United States is not detaining illegal immigrants amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Thirty-eight percent of the 121,000 adults in May had previously been caught trying to enter the country at least once in the past 12 months. Typically 15% of adults are repeat offenders, but more are falling into the recidivism pool likely because they know they won't be prosecuted.
“DHS sees significantly higher-than-normal repeated crossing attempts. In other words, the Department is often encountering the same individual multiple times after being encountered and expelled from the United States,” his prepared remarks state.
Kamala Harris and Joe Biden haven’t yet visited the US-Mexico border. Texas officials are mixed on whether they need to
Vice President Kamala Harris visits Guatemala and Mexico this week, but she and President Joe Biden haven't visited the U.S.-Mexico border this year.But for months, Harris' presence has been requested someplace else: The U.S. southern border. Mostly Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have called on Harris and President Joe Biden to visit areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, where they say a dramatic increase of migrants has developed into a crisis. Members of the House and Senate have flown into border towns, toured intake facilities and taken boat rides on the Rio Grande River. And their message to Harris and Biden has been: Come see it for yourself.
A second person on the White House call cited declines in the number of migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras crossing the border, which dropped from 30,000 in April to 22,000 in May. However, the officials did not note that the number of people arriving in family groups has quadrupled since January, increasing from 3,500 to nearly 19,000 in May.
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The number of unaccompanied children who arrived in May dropped by roughly 3,000 from April to May and came in at more than 10,000. The government is operating 10 emergency shelters nationwide to hold the children while it searches for an adult in the U.S. to release them to.
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Biden RETURNS $2billion set aside for Trump's border wall .
The Biden administration is returning $2 billion set aside for Donald Trump's signature border wall and calling on Congress to cancel other funding, despite a surge in people trying to cross illegally. President Joe Biden suspended construction when he took power but his new plan falls short of canceling it altogether.Instead, it ends fast track provisions.'Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of Federal funds,' said the White House Office of Management and Budget (O.M.B).