Running out of Rooms
The long-running saga of immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border continues, but the latest chapter of the seemingly endless tale is taking quite an expensive turn.
The U.S. became comfortable with stricter immigration policies under President Donald Trump. Yet, newcomer Joe Biden seems to have thrown the old policies out the window altogether to set up his agenda. He has begun a litany of new lenient practices but chief among them is allotting $86.9 million to pay for hotel rooms for more than 1200 immigrants over a six-month period through a contract with ICE and a Texas nonprofit called Endeavors.
Also written into the contract are what is being referred to as ‘necessary services' basically health assessments (including COVID-19 testing), victim services, therapeutic regimens, educational care, and mental health care. For unaccompanied children, services include case management, school home study programs, and post-release services for both the children and their sponsors.
In hopes of appearing more humane and friendly, Biden immediately put an end to Trump’s immigration policies upon taking office, paving the way for his own. Biden’s plan had initially been to offer citizenship to upwards of 11 million immigrants already living in the country that simply had not received their documentation yet through expanding green card access and widening “Dreamer” opportunities. This plan has been turned on its head, though, as we have now seen endless waves of immigrants surge to the border in hopes of joining the countless illegal immigrants currently seeking refuge in the United States. The Washington Post estimates that two million new immigrants have approached the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes of entering the country.
While Democrats refuse to acknowledge the problem at its root, Republicans are referring to the immigration situation as the ‘Biden Border Crisis.’ Many on Biden’s side have rushed to the border in a desperate attempt to ease tensions that are building there, yet still will not label the situation appropriately, despite witnessing it firsthand.
As it stands, the near-two million immigrants approaching the border include more than 5,000 children. Biden and the left were quick to pass judgment on Republicans for their handling of child immigrants during Trump’s time as president, but from the looks of it, not much has changed. Formerly referred to as ‘kids in cages,’ these captive children have not seen much change in terms of facilities, which CNN has referred to as ‘jail-like.’ Several hundred of these children have been kept in captivity well past the legal limit, as well. It is mandated that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol move children under their supervision, to shelters sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours of their capture. However, many children are being held for upwards of 107 hours, or more than a full day over the allotted time, before they move on.
Biden is currently publicly pleading with migrants not to come to the border looking for a way in, but his message does not seem to be making it through. Photographs from the site show myriads of people flocking to the border, holding signs with Biden’s name and wearing t-shirts with his campaign slogans. While there has been a slight downturn in arrivals, for now, the peak is expected to show up later this spring.