Biden Deploys FEMA to US-Mexico Border

Move comes amid surge in teen migrants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 14, 2021 8:20 AM CDT
Biden To Send FEMA to Border To Address Teen Migrant Surge
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a press briefing at the White House   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

President Biden has responded to the ballooning number of teen and children migrants crossing into the US from Mexico by deploying FEMA to the border. Per the Washington Post, the agency will be utilized to care for the thousands of unaccompanied minors currently flooding detention centers, DHS said Saturday. The move comes after a report released last week showed the number of kids crossing the border alone rose 60% to more than 9,400, forcing the government to look for new places to hold them temporarily. Per the AP, FEMA will assist as part of a governmentwide, 90-day effort to safely receive, shelter and transfer minor children. The administration continues to maintain a policy of turning back nearly all adult migrants, instated at the start of the pandemic as a public health order.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said FEMA is working with HHS to “look at every available option to quickly expand physical capacity for appropriate lodging" as more children are held longer at Border Patrol facilities that weren't designed with their care in mind because long-term HHS shelters have next to no capacity to accommodate them. Children are being apprehended daily at far higher rates than HHS can release them to parents or sponsors. While his administration has tried to deter immigrants from entering the US, many believe they have a better chance now that Biden is president. There have also been growing reports of parents sending their children across the border alone while they remain in Mexico or Central America. (More immigration stories.)

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