The Biden administration ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to prepare to house child migrants amid an influx of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. via the southern border.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas ordered FEMA to shelter migrant children over the next 90 days, in response to a backlog of children currently being held in Border Patrol facilities.
“I am incredibly proud of the agents of the Border Patrol, who have been working around the clock in difficult circumstances to take care of children temporarily in our care. Yet, as I have said many times, a Border Patrol facility is no place for a child,” Mayorkas said in a statement.
Border Patrol agents detained 9,487 unaccompanied minors in February, up 171 percent from the same month in 2020. The Biden administration is attempting to transfer as many migrant children as possible to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will coordinate its operations with FEMA.
The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly expecting a record 117,000 child migrants to attempt to cross into the U.S. in 2021.
After a Biden administration delegation visited the southern border last week, Representative Henry Cuellar (D., Texas), whose district sits on the U.S.-Mexico border, blasted the administration’s response.
“Any president should come down [and] really spend time with border communities,” Cuellar told Fox News on Friday. “You know, the president sent a delegation and a bunch of folks from the White House. They didn’t talk to anybody, not even members of Congress down here.”