The Biden administration will spend $86 million in tax money for migrants’ hotel rooms. With border detention facilities overflowing, officers need to find more housing facilities. Migrants are arriving in record numbers on the US southern border.
US Border Crisis
The country is currently experiencing a border crisis. Upon election, President Joe Biden announced migration policies that are radically different from his predecessor, Donald Trump. Based on policy changes, it seemed unaccompanied minors now have a better chance to enter the US. This led to record numbers of unaccompanied minors trooped to the borders. Consequently, over 13,000 minors with parents ended up in custody, with even more coming in. Meanwhile, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) centers struggle with the arrivals.
Then, there’s this added problem of migrant families seeking asylum. Axios noted the increasing number. The “growing numbers of migrant families trying to come to the US, in addition to already overwhelming numbers of kids crossing the border without their parents or legal guardians, appear to be straining government resources,” Axios noted Sunday.
ICE to Spend $86 million for Migrants’ Hotel Rooms
With detention facility spaces fast disappearing, the Biden administration looked into getting more housing. Reportedly, the federal government authorized Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to purchase hotel rooms near border areas in Arizona and Texas. The idea is to rent the rooms for months until they sort the migrant mess out.
Axios reported the terms of the deal. “The Biden administration has awarded an $86 million contract for hotel rooms near the border to hold around 1,200 migrant family members who cross the U.S.-Mexico border, DHS officials confirmed to Axios. The contract through Endeavors, a Texas-based nonprofit, is for six months but could be extended and expanded. The hotels will be near border areas, including in Arizona and Texas,” it wrote.
Not Just Child Migrants, Families Too
Even as the child migrants continue to hog the headlines, the CBP estimates that more Central American families are also making the journey to the US. These families, facing deteriorating economic conditions in their home countries, will claim asylum once they arrive in the States. Under the Trump administration, US officials require asylum seekers to remain in Mexico pending their asylum hearing. However, the Biden administration changed that policy and allowed migrants to enter pending their hearings. The administration allowed some asylum seekers to stay with family members while waiting for their case to come up.
The Washington Post estimates that around 2 million migrants will reach the US-Mexico border this year. “The latest decision to secure hotel rooms comes as the US is seeing the biggest surge of migrants at the border in decades, pacing towards a potential 2 million migrants at the US-Mexico border this year. The surge is putting a heavy strain on government resources and border towns,” according to Business Insider, which also reported on the hotel room contract,” it wrote.
Blame The Change In Policy
Unsurprisingly, the increase in migrant numbers happened upon Biden’s announcement of policy changes in immigration. Compared to the previous year, migrant families who presented themselves or intercepted more than doubled between January and February of 2021.
“Border officials continue to use a Trump-era order to quickly return many families to Mexico. But Mexico has limited capacity to take in migrant families and won’t accept some with young children, according to administration officials. 42% of families were expelled to Mexico last month,” Axios reported. These numbers are lower compared to 64% in January and 91% in October, according to the data. In addition, more than 13,000 family members who crossed the US border illegally remain in the country. In fact, officials allowed many migrants to remain in border communities.
Watch the CBS News video reporting that President Joe Biden is facing mounting pressure amid a surge in migrants at the border:
Do you agree with the Biden administration’s decision to release funding to pay for migrants’ hotel rooms? How can the border crisis end? Let us know what you think of the current situation down south. Share your comments in the comments section below.