Nancy Pelosi blames Trump for immigration crisis at Mexican border, says 'Joe Biden inherited a broken system'
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday, March 14, held former President Donald Trump responsible for the growing migrant crisis at the southern border under the current administration of President Joe Biden. The detention facilities at the border have seen huge overflow after the incumbent president promised to cater to all asylum-seekers.
Speaking to ABC’s ‘The Week’ host George Stephanopoulos, Pelosi said “this is a humanitarian challenge to all of us”. She then blamed the previous administration, saying the Biden administration “inherited a broken system at the border” and it is working “to correct that in the children’s interest”. The number of unaccompanied children arriving at the US-Mexico border from Central America is increasing in large numbers, leaving the Biden administration under a lot of stress. It is struggling to keep its promise to treat migrants humanely with the multiplying numbers of minors held in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.
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According to Pelosi, 600-700 more unaccompanied children are arriving at the US-Mexico border than what was seen during the peak of minor detention under the previous administration in 2019. The facilities are now overcrowded by around 700 percent. Agencies like CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been overwhelmed with the growing number of migrants arriving in the US through Mexico. On Saturday, March 13, Biden sent in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as agencies called volunteers to help.
Biden had stressed during his presidential campaign that the US will accept all those people seeking asylum and after taking oath on January 20, he took measures to reverse Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, including halting the construction of the southern border wall. However, despite its immigration system getting overwhelmed, the Biden White House has refused to identify the situation at the border as a ‘crisis’.
Pelosi felt there was no fault with Biden and blamed his predecessor, who she often criticized strongly during his term. “The Biden administration is trying to fix the broken system that was left to them by the Trump administration,” the 80-year-old lawmaker from California reiterated before reporters at the Capitol on Sunday. “The Biden administration will have a system based on doing the best possible job understanding this is a humanitarian crisis,” she added.
Not a coincidence, says former Mexico envoy
Roberta Jacobson, special assistant to President Biden coordinator for the southern border, said during a press briefing at the White House last week that the timing of the rise in migrants was “no coincidence” with the change of rules under the Biden administration. When asked whether the surge happened as soon as Trump left office and Biden stepped in, Roberts, a former ambassador to Mexico, said: “We've seen surges before. Surges tend to respond to hope, and there was significant hope for a more humane policy after four years of pent-up demand.”
“So I don’t know if I would call that a coincidence.”
Meanwhile, Democratic Texas Representative Veronica Escobar, under whose district falls the border city of El Paso, on Sunday called the conditions at the overcrowded detention facilities “unacceptable”. She visited one of them on Friday, March 12. Speaking on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’, Escobar disagreed with the claims that Biden’s rolling back of the Trump-era immigration policies led to a surge in the number of undocumented migrants at the southern border and that the argument “obscures the biggest picture”.
Rep. Veronica Escobar says an influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border is “an enormous challenge and it’s unacceptable.”— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 14, 2021
“What we are seeing today is the consequence of four years of dismantling every system in place to address this with humanity and compassion.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/HtPRCmIHmP
ICE officials had to form an outdoor processing center in Texas this weekend to deal with the heavy number of migrants crossing the border. Biden’s opponents were not convinced with the explanation though. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton tweeted on Saturday to say: “It’s time for President Biden to call this what it is—a national emergency on our southern border.”
In another tweet, he said: “The Biden administration now wants to use FEMA to help “receive” illegal aliens. What they refuse to do is enforce our immigration law, which is why we have this Biden Border Crisis in the first place.”
It’s time for President Biden to call this what it is—a national emergency on our southern border.https://t.co/NvbvPOSfng— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 13, 2021
The Biden administration now wants to use FEMA to help “receive” illegal aliens. What they refuse to do is enforce our immigration law, which is why we have this Biden Border Crisis in the first place.https://t.co/91Wh2YcL1u— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 14, 2021
Last week, Cotton said on Fox: “President Biden's immigration plan is great for human traffickers, drug dealers, and illegal aliens, but not for the United States. We must put the American people first.”
A recent CNN poll has shown that immigration remains a field where Biden has scored low with 49 percent disapproving of his handling the matter, as against 43 percent backing it.