US President Joe Biden told reporters Sunday at the White House that “at some point” he would go to the U.S.-Mexico border and that he is aware of “what is going on” in the border facilities.
The Biden administration is scrambling to manage a growing humanitarian and political challenge at the border that threatens to overshadow its ambitious legislative agenda.
With the number of migrants surging, administration officials say Biden inherited an untenable situation that resulted from what they say was President Donald Trump’s undermining and weakening of the immigration system.
But as Congress pivots to immigration legislation, stories of unaccompanied minors and families trying to cross the border and seek asylum and of overwhelmed border facilities have begun to dominate the headlines, distracting from the White House’s efforts to promote the recently passed $1.9 trillion (US dollar) COVID-19 relief bill.
A reporter asked Biden if more could be done to prevent migrants from reaching the border, he said: “A lot more, we are in the process of doing it now, including making sure we re-establish what existed before, which was they can stay in place and make their case from their home countries.”
The White House dispatched Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to four Sunday news shows in an effort to stress that it was working to get things under control.