US Mexico border woe continues, Biden turns to federal agency for help

US Mexico border woe continues, Biden turns to federal agency for help”

The US Department of Homeland Security on Saturday ordered an emergency agency that usually responds to floods, storms and other major disasters to help care for a growing number of migrant children arriving at the US-Mexico border.

But, at a press briefing at the White House, Mayorkas declined to describe the situation at the border as a crisis, instead calling it "a challenge". It meant that immigrant parents who came to the US and then later sent for their children to cross the border faced possible deportation when they tried to pick up their children from Health and Human Services custody.

Over the weekend, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with receiving, sheltering and transferring children.

While migrant adults and families continue to be sent back to Mexico when they are caught, unaccompanied children are being processed and get help resettling with United States relatives.

Government figures show a growing crisis at the border as hundreds of children illegally enter the U.S. from Mexico daily and are taken into custody.

On Friday, the Biden administration announced the termination of a Trump-era agreement that had allowed DHS and HHS to share information on potential sponsors for migrant children with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which a Biden administration official said had had a "chilling effect" on undocumented family members coming forward. Mayorkas said Fema is working with the Health and Human Services Department to "look at every available option to quickly expand physical capacity for appropriate lodging".

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At the time, the agency assisted in setting up temporary shelters and processing stations at military bases.

More than 4,000 unaccompanied migrant children are in Border Patrol custody, CNN has learned, marking yet another increase in the number of children held up in border facilities until officials can accommodate them in shelters that are suited for them.

FEMA was also called in to help in 2014 when a similar influx of unaccompanied minors occurred under former President Barack Obama.

Republicans placed the blame for the ongoing situation on Biden, for his reversal of numerous Trump immigration policies, including the "Remain in Mexico" requirement, which decreed that Central American asylum seekers must stay south of the United States border as their claims are assessed by U.S. courts.

There have been reports of parents sending their children across the border from Mexico unaccompanied.

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