WASHINGTON (TND) — As another year comes to a close in Washington, it marks another year without solutions for a growing crisis in America: a record number of immigrants at the U.S. southern border.
President Joe Biden will make his first trip to Mexico as president next month — just as U.S. courts continue to argue over what options Biden has in handling the crush of people seeking life in America.
A renewed surge of migrants at the southern border has temporary shelters being built to accommodate, during a winter blast and far away in Washington, intensifying debate over possible solutions.
The Supreme Court is allowing Title 42 to stay in place for now, but what happens when that rule allowing quick deportation of illegal immigrants over COVID concerns expires?
“As more individuals are released into the U.S., that’s going to encourage more to enter and this crisis that we’re in, is going to get worse,” said Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Biden will meet with world leaders in Mexico next month while 19 Republican-led states fight to keep the restrictions at the southern border in light of 2.3 million migrant encounters last fiscal year.
“The removal of Title 42 does not mean the border is open,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Secretary Mayorkas was at the border just last week. He talked about how they are surging resources to the border and we have additional robust planning underway.”
The White House is seeking another $3.5 billion from Congress to prepare for what may come next.
"There's probably 20,000 over there today waiting for Title 42 to be lifted,” said El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser.
Many in Washington say it’s not resources but rather policies that are missing. Republicans blame the White House for no detailed plan while the White House is criticizing Congress, for failing to pass comprehensive reform.
In a new book, "The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House," author Chris Whipple claimed that the president has expressed extreme frustration over the issue of immigration.
“Illegal immigrants kept arriving. And Biden was furious," the book reads. "Aides had rarely seen him so angry. From all over the West Wing, you could hear the president cursing, dropping f-bombs."
Biden’s team believes improved conditions in Latin America would slow immigration but it’s admittedly a more long-term strategy.
“ We are right now in the throes of an unsustainable crisis,” Morgan said.
The answers have appeared to be escaping decision-makers for decades and the situation is only getting worse.