President Joe Biden is to blame for the border crisis, Mexican counterpart Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday.
"Expectations were created that with the Government of President Biden there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so," Obrador told reporters during a Tuesday press conference.
“People don’t go to the United States for fun, they go out of necessity,” he added.
The Biden administration is receiving pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to address the surge of migrants crossing the border. As of March 21, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents were holding more than 16,000 unaccompanied children in custody, according to media reports.
Nearly 9,500 unaccompanied minors entered U.S border custody last month, a record-high for February. That number is expected to be eclipsed in March. About 530 unaccompanied minors are crossing the border daily.
Vice President Kamala Harris in an interview with CBS' "This Morning" Wednesday said the situation at the border is a “huge problem.”
“It’s a huge problem, I’m not going to pretend it’s not,” Harris told host Gayle King.
“It’s a huge problem. Are we looking at overcrowding at the border, particularly with these kids. Yes. Should these kids be in the custody of HHS, the Health and Human Services, instead of the Border Patrol? Yes. Should we be processing these cases faster? Yes. This is, however, not going to be solved overnight. There are things that we need to do, especially since there was a system in place, previously, before the last administration, to allow us to process these kids in their country of origin. That was dismantled. It’s not going to happen overnight.”
Harris said she and Biden will visit the border at “some point” as the U.S. remains on track to open at least six emergency facilities to house migrant children streaming into the country.
"At some point, absolutely we will go down to the border and I've been down to the border and our secretary of the Homeland Security Alex Mayorkas has been down there twice. Senior administration officials have been down there and yes, we will go," she said. "But the reality also is that in addition to the border, we also need to deal with the root causes. We need to deal with what's happening in the Northern Triangle and address it in a way that is about not only diplomacy but bringing our allies together. Dealing with what we need to do around aid in a way that is about developing those countries so that we also deal with the cause of why people are coming into our country."
Obrador told reporters he wanted to work with the U.S. “in a coordinated manner” to help curb the flow of migrants showing up at the border.
We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can't be tackled from one day to the next,” he said.
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