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Biden Administration Faces Dilemma in Dealing with Border Migrants

Biden, Migrants

A few months ago, the Department of Homeland Security developed a plan to deal with the growing number of migrants. It is to temporarily place some in cities inside the United States for processing. 

However, they have shelved the plan for now, according to CNN officials. Partly because the White House is hesitant about the tedious logistics.

The cycle is never-ending since President Joe Biden took office, multiple administration officials and sources close to the White House said.

Agency officials formulate a plan just for the White House to decline it. This happens despite overlapping issues and mounting criticism from Republicans.

Frustration is also building, especially in lower management.

“Everything seems to influence each other,” said a Homeland Security official in an interview with CNN. “Things develop. People change their minds. They lose one battle, and they do this instead.” 

The official continued: “I think they’re at the point where it’s Hail Mary after Hail Mary.” 

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Migrants are Pooling

As the number of migrants crossing the border increases, authorities are at a loss as to how to stem the flow of migrants. That leads to iterative blocks of ideas like processing migrants from the border. 

Another Homeland Security Official said: “Interior assistance and community support is something the White House is only serious about discussing when encounter rates rise.” They added that extra massive policy shifts aren’t anticipated until after the midterm election. 

Often, an exchange between the White House and DHS embroils the process. Under pressure to alleviate the situation on the US-Mexico border, the department hands ideas to the White House. 

The White House, in turn, requests more details, igniting frustrations between the two, according to sources. Additionally, non-alignment and queries over policy, like interior processing, boil up between officials within DHS. 

“These are areas that we have been working through together,” a source close to the internal discussions stated. It added that there possibly be different views throughout and within agencies. 

“There are always differences of opinions to work though,” added the source. 

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Admin is ‘Unified’

One specific plan materialized last week: The administration unveiled a Venezuelan migrants humanitarian parole program. They also plan to expand the utilization of the issue-drawing Trump-era pandemic emergency policy on the border. 

White House spokesperson Abdullah Hasan said in a statement: “Encouraging robust debate, hearing different ideas, and getting lots of expertise making policy decisions that impact millions of lives is a feature, not a bug.” 

He added: “And it is through this smart, deliberative, and collaborative approach that we have seen significant progress in rebuilding the immigration system the prior Administration gutted.” 

A spokesperson from DHS said the administration is “unified.” And it came in defense of the administration’s action toward a “broken and dismantled immigration system” it got from the Trump admin. 

“This administration is unified in its commitment to enforce our laws and secure our border, while building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system: Discussion and a diversity of ideas are not just expected but essential as we develop real solutions on an issue of this complexity,” the spokesperson stated. 

The spokesperson added: “The administration has effectively managed an unprecedented number of noncitizens seeking to enter the United States, interdicted more drugs, and disrupted more smuggling operations than ever before, all while reversing the cruel and harmful policies of the prior administration.”

Photo: Gannett

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