WASHINGTON: Donald Trump has blamed the current administration of President Joe Biden for the ongoing crisis at the US southern border, saying that the border wall with Mexico needs to be finished in order to deal with the problem.
"We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history. All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of just a few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster," Trump said in a Sunday statement, as reported by The Hill.
The former president specifically targeted Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas, who appeared on a slate of Sunday morning political news shows earlier in the day to defend the Biden administration's immigration policies.
Trump said there is a "huge cover-up to hide just how bad things truly are". He said that the current US border crisis is a "total failure" of the Biden administration. "They must immediately complete the wall, which can be done in a matter of weeks - they should never have stopped it. They are causing death and human tragedy," Trump added.
Mayorkas, speaking on Fox, and CNN, said that the southern US border remains "closed," while emphasising the US will not deport unaccompanied minors. "Now is not the time to come. Do not come, the journey is dangerous. We are building safe, orderly, and humane ways to address the needs of vulnerable children," Mayorkas said.
Some 100,000 potential illegal immigrants tried to cross the border into the US from Mexico in February compared with only 36,000 in the same month last year, Congressman Michael Guest said earlier in March. The Biden administration was unprepared to handle a surge in immigration in the middle of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, according to Guest as reported by Sputnik.
Data from US Customs and Border Protection shows 9,457 unaccompanied migrant children were apprehended at the southern border in February, which is a substantial increase from the 5,858 unaccompanied migrant children apprehended in January.
US media reported this weekend that there are currently over 15,000 unaccompanied migrant children in US custody, 5,000 of them are being held at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities not designed for long-term housing, read Sputnik.