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DHS projects that there will be 117,000 unaccompanied child migrants crossing the US border (see Axios piece below).

At the White House briefing today, a reporter noted that 117,000 figure “seems like a crisis.”

Alarmingly, President Biden’s press secretary refused to agree with that assessment and called it “a challenge.”

Reporter: “117,000 unaccompanied children will arrive in the US by [DHS’s] projection this year.” 

“That number seems like a crisis. The Secretary said it isn’t. How would we define a crisis?”

Psaki: “Well, I’ll leave that to the Secretary of Homeland Security to define. He said it was, ‘a challenge’ — it is a challenge.”

Where do House Democrats stand?

Do House Democrats believe that DHS’s projection of 117,000 unaccompanied minors crossing the border this year is a crisis?

Or do they ignore the issue as recklessly as the Biden administration? How would they define a crisis?

 

Scoop: Biden briefing calls for 20,000 child migrant beds

Axios

Stef W. Kight

3/2/2021

https://www.axios.com/biden-immigration-child-migrant-border-aeaf0231-02d3-4c96-b139-68069c0c1189.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=editorial&utm_content=politics-breaking

A briefing scheduled for President Biden this afternoon outlines the need for 20,000 beds to shelter an expected crush of child migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The rapid influx of unaccompanied children is building into the administration’s first new crisis. A presentation created by the Domestic Policy Council spells out the dimensions with nearly 40 slides full of charts and details.

Driving the news: On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said from the White House podium the current situation is not a crisis. Today, the president will be told the number of migrant kids is on pace to exceed the all-time record by 45% — and the administration doesn’t have enough beds.

·         Facing the growing numbers, the Department of Health and Human Services — which oversees the network of child migrant shelters — is planning to change its coronavirus protocols to make room for an additional 2,000 kids and teens, according a source with direct knowledge of the presentation and a second congressional source.

·         Even with new shelters and loosened COVID-19 restrictions, the administration projects it will fall short of its needs by a couple thousand.

·         DHS and HHS spokespersons did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment. The White House declined comment.

Between the lines: DHS currently projects there will be 117,000 unaccompanied child migrants crossing the border this year, according to information on the slides.

·         A large number of them are teenagers. Just last month, some 6,000 migrants aged 16 and 17 were caught, according to the slides.

·         HHS is expected to reach its shelter capacity later this month, according to the two sources.

What to watch: The administration is looking at ways to reduce the shelter populations by accelerating the release of children to sponsors already in the U.S., the sources said.

·         They plan to end a Trump-era agreement between DHS and HHS that included strict sponsor vetting requirements — a practice some advocates say had a chilling effect on sponsors’ willingness to offer their homes.

·         HHS has already said it would pay for transportation for children when sponsors cannot, and has proposed removing a request for Social Security numbers from the form filled out by the potential caretakers for unaccompanied minors, as Reuters reported.

Flashback: Rep. Henry Cueller (D-Texas), who represents a border district, has warned about the unintended consequences of such actions.