One day after President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters there is not a crisis at the border, the White House is evaluating how to provide more than 20,000 beds for the large influx of unaccompanied migrant children who are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a Tuesday press briefing, officials are expected to tell Biden that the inundation of unaccompanied minors is on track not only to surpass the largest number of migrant kids ever recorded attempting to enter the country illegally but also to leave shelters overseen by Health and Human Services without the required number of beds they need to house thousands of extra children, Axios reports.
“Even with new shelters and loosened COVID-19 restrictions, the administration projects it will fall short of its needs by a couple thousand,” the Axios scoop states, noting that HHS is projected to run out of shelter space by the end of March.
According to the Department of Homeland Security projections, more than 100,000 unaccompanied minors are expected to attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border this year. Of those 100,000, more than 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children are expected to come to the United States in May, giving the Biden administration just two months to sort out its plans for housing migrant minors after refusing to expel them. Already, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the Biden administration’s decision to reopen a detention center filled with caged shipping containers for unaccompanied migrant children in Texas by claiming it is necessary due to COVID-19.
Despite his belief that there is no crisis at the border, Mayorkas also admitted in his Monday press briefing that the Biden administration is still urging would-be migrants to stay away until it can take more actions, including spurring on congressional Democrats to support a bill that seeks to grant amnesty to more than 11 million illegal immigrants.
“We are not saying don’t come. We are saying don’t come now because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible,” Mayorkas said.