President Biden is reopening detention centers to accommodate the surge of illegal migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Biden pledged to undo the immigration policies of the Trump administration but what he is doing sure looks a whole lot like the actions of the previous administration. Reality is biting Joe Biden hard.
When Joe Biden promised to end deportations and issue blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants in the United States, those affected by his promises believed him. Others contemplating seeking asylum at the southern border were encouraged by Biden’s open borders fever dreams. Last week the Biden administration began releasing illegal migrants into the United States who were being held under the Remain in Mexico policy of the Trump administration. That policy was halted by Biden in his ‘Day One’ executive actions on illegal immigration.
California has now allotted as much as $28 million to help immigrants arriving from Mexico and being released in the U.S. until their court dates. This money is only expected to fund the state’s efforts through June. It will pay for hotel rooms for illegal immigrants to quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic before going to their final destinations throughout the U.S. The money will also go toward providing for other needs – the Jewish Family Service of San Diego, for example, provides food, transportation, and help with travel logistics. And California taxpayers will fund health services, including COVID-19 testing.
An estimated 26,000 people with active cases will be allowed into the U.S., with about 25 people released a day in San Diego.
“This is what happens when California and Washington are talking with each other instead of at each other,” said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the California Department of Finance.
The first asylum-seekers waiting in the Mexican border city of Matamoros, home to a migrant camp with squalid conditions, were processed for entry Thursday in Brownsville, Texas. Processing began Friday in El Paso, Texas.
California is embracing Biden’s attempts at undoing Trump’s immigration policies but it’s a different story in Texas. The mayor of Del Rio, Texas released a YouTube video begging Open Borders Joe to stop releasing illegal migrants into his small town during a devastating winter storm last week. Mayor Bruno Lozano, a Democrat, issued his plea due to the fact he is trying to take care of his town’s legal residents in the storm’s aftermath.
“There’s no plan of action once Border Patrol releases migrants in city centers from being detained,” Bruno Lozano, mayor of the South Texas city of Del Rio, said in an interview.
Lozano posted a YouTube video last week calling on the Biden administration to stop releasing migrants during a winter storm that ravaged Texas, knocking out power and water for several days in many cities. The Border Patrol resumed releasing migrants in Del Rio on Feb. 20 after the cold passed.
Lozano said Friday that border agents have resumed releasing people in Del Rio and nearby cities. He noted that nonprofit groups provide cellphones, food and clothing to people leaving border custody and called on federal authorities to ramp up vaccinations in border communities or provide hotel rooms where migrants who test positive can quarantine.
The purpose of Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy – agreed to by the Mexican government – was to ease the burdens of border towns and cities that were being overwhelmed with illegal migrants. When they are released into the United States, they are left on their own until their court dates. Non-profits and local charities try to provide assistance but resources are quickly depleted by the soaring number of migrants.
The mayor of Yuma, Arizona estimates that by the end of Thursday, 230 migrants, including many families with children, had been released since Feb. 15. They are usually dropped off at a Greyhound bus stop outside a discount store in a rural area. He wants a return to bussing them to larger cities with more resources and infrastructure available, as the Trump administration did.
There is a public health concern during the pandemic. Many of the Trump administration’s actions were meant to curb the flow of infected migrants.
Texas has sent 10,000 rapid COVID-19 tests to Brownsville for arriving migrants. City spokesman Felipe Romero says the tests are administered at the local bus station and anyone who tests positive is told to isolate.
In El Paso, the Annunciation House shelter is receiving 25 immigrants daily from the Remain in Mexico program. The shelter expects releases to double in the coming weeks and perhaps reach 75 a day by the end of March, director Ruben Garcia said.
Remember all the outrage aimed at the Trump administration over tents erected to shelter illegal migrants at the border? Well, it turns out the Biden administration is doing the same thing. The dirty little secret is that there is little else to do. The president has to either shelter them or turn them loose. If they are turned loose, as the Biden administration is doing with the return of catch and release, migrants who are not allowed to go free until their hearing dates must be returned to their home countries. Biden has decided to freeze deportations and is in a legal battle over that. A district judge in Texas has ruled in favor of halting that freeze. So, the Biden administration reopened a facility for unaccompanied minors in Carrizo Springs, Texas last week. The tents now going up will be for families and adults, not unaccompanied minors.
In a statement, CBP said it was building the facility to “help accommodate migrants in our custody.”
“There have always been fluctuations in the number of individuals we encounter at the border, and we continue to adapt accordingly,” the statement said. “Since April 2020, CBP has seen an increase in border encounters from the Western Hemisphere due to worsening economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters impacting the area.”
“Based on past experience, evaluation of operational requirements, and challenges due to COVID-19 space restrictions, we need additional processing facilities when we see rising numbers of encounters,” it said “As we work to build and improve permanent facilities for the safe and orderly processing of individuals at the border, temporary soft-sided facilities are sometimes necessary to meet operational needs that may arise due to rising encounters, particularly under challenging circumstances.”
The new tent facility is being opened in Eagle Pass, Texas, in the Del Rio Sector. Sorry, Mayor Lozano, your area’s troubles are far from over. Tent facilities are back, baby.