US President Joe Biden is not planning any visits to the southern border amid the developing situation, which has already been labelled as a "border crisis" by some journalists in the White House press pool. Responding to a question from a journalist, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki unveiled that the president has no upcoming trips at all.
"I don't have any trips to preview for you at this point in time. If we do, we will certainly preview them", Psaki said.
At the same time, the spokeswoman assured that the administration "certainly" has a "handle" on the situation at the border.
Q: Does the president believe his administration has a handle on the situation at the border?— Kathryn Watson (@kathrynw5) March 15, 2021
Psaki: "We certainly do..."
Psaki earlier dismissed attempts by the media to call the situation at the border with Mexico, where migrant detention centres are overcrowded and the Border Patrol is stretched thin, a "crisis". Instead, the spokeswoman assured that the president is monitoring the events and had sent several administration officials to the border to assess the situation. These officials are supposed to brief the president on the issue once they finish their assessment.
Biden Under Fire From Both Sides of the Aisle
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that it had detained around 100,000 illegal migrants at the US-Texas border in February alone. At the current rate, the US is set to detain more migrants in 2021 than at any point during the last 20 years, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed earlier today. The situation has already drawn criticism towards Biden from both the Republicans and the Democrats.
GOP members of Congress and state politicians are confident that the unfolding "crisis" at the border is a direct result of the Democratic POTUS' decision to make a 180-degree turn from Donald Trump's immigration policy. Biden repealed many of Trump's executive orders regarding immigration and issued a directive that would simplify the process for illegal immigrants to receive citizenship.
The Democrats deny the existence of such a causal link and even blame Trump's hardline immigration policies for the current situation at the US-Mexico border. However, some Dems are not happy with Biden either, specifically the progressive wing of the party. They criticise the failure of the administration to handle the situation involving detention centres for underage illegal migrants, which are already overcrowded. In addition, several House Democrats have condemned the president's apparent refusal to give a new chance to get a green card to those who were turned down under Trump's administration, specifically under the "diversity visas" programme.