Homeland Security Secretary will tour Texas migrant facility Friday

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will visit a Texas border facility on Friday, after a House Democratic critic of the administration’s immigration policies complained that child immigrants were being moved ‘from one tent to the other tent.’

Mayorkas will tour the Donna, Texas processing facility, KVEO-TV reported. While there, Mayorkas will get updates on unaccompanied children who continue to come across the border, posting a logistical challenge for the government.

He will also view a Customs and Border Protection facility where images released by the government show a considerable reduction in crowding. 

His trip comes after Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar accused the Biden administration of moving unaccompanied minors from one border facility to another to create the impression it is emptying crowded holding areas.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is visiting the border Friday

The White House had no response when asked about the comments Thursday during President Biden’s day trip to Louisiana. 

It is the fourth border visit by Mayorkas and his last since April. 

Vice President Kamala Harris, who has taken heat for not yet visiting the border despite her role focusing on root causes of immigration, will meet virtually Friday morning with Mexico’s president, Manuel Lopez-Obrador. 

The U.S. has long sought ways to get Mexico to cooperate in stemming the tide of immigration from its side of the border, including from Northern Triangle countries in Central America.

Mexico is seeking assistance combatting gun trafficking, and is now contending with the collapse of a subway in Mexico City. 

Cuellar, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, accused the Department of Health and Human Services this week of moving immigrants out of the CBP tents to secure better images of its crowded Donna, Texas facility.  

‘All they’re doing is, they’re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying: “Oh, they’re not in the Border Patrol (custody). But they’re right next door,”‘ Cuellar said. 

Vice President Kamala Harris holds a zoom with Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador

Vice President Kamala Harris holds a zoom with Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador

Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador forged ties with former President Donald Trump

Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador forged ties with former President Donald Trump

Cuellar was referencing the effort to transfer minors from Customs and Border Control custody to HHS. The law requires they be transferred within a 72 hour period, although the Administration struggled to comply amid a surge at the border this spring.

He told Border Report the minors held in government custody were simply moved to nearby tent facilities operated by HHS.

‘But they’re right next door. They’re just next door in HHS,’ he said. 

He said officials ‘set up maybe five tents that are run by HHS.’

The HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement reported this week that there are currently 22,195 unaccompanied children in its custody – a new record. Additionally, 2,000 children are being held by other federal agencies, the Washington Examiner reported. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared Thursday on former Obama advisor David Axelrod’s podcast, and provided her most fulsome explanation for why Biden has resisted calls that he visit the border.

‘We’re often asked, “Why doesn’t he go to the border?”‘ she told Axelrod. ‘Important issue. We’re focused on it,’ she said. 

‘What percentage of the public is focused on the border? A much smaller percentage than who’s focused on the pandemic and the economy. So that may be maddening, but, you know, that’s what we try to do,’ she added.

A government handout photo shows the temporary processing facilities for migrants in Donna, Texas, U.S., April 30, 2021. U.S. officials have reduced the number of unaccompanied children held in border stations in recent weeks as children have been moved to emergency shelters. But Rep. Henry Cuellar says children are being moved from one tent to another

A government handout photo shows the temporary processing facilities for migrants in Donna, Texas, U.S., April 30, 2021. U.S. officials have reduced the number of unaccompanied children held in border stations in recent weeks as children have been moved to emergency shelters. But Rep. Henry Cuellar says children are being moved from one tent to another 

LAST MONTH: In this March 30, 2021, file photo young minors lie inside a pod at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in Donna, Texas.

LAST MONTH: In this March 30, 2021, file photo young minors lie inside a pod at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in Donna, Texas.

In this March 30, 2021, file photo, young unaccompanied migrants, from ages 3 to 9, watch television inside a playpen at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas.

In this March 30, 2021, file photo, young unaccompanied migrants, from ages 3 to 9, watch television inside a playpen at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas.

'All they¿re doing is, they¿re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying: "Oh, they¿re not in the Border Patrol (custody). But they're right next door,"' said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.). The administration released images showing a sharp decrease in crowding at the Donna, Texas facility pictured above

‘All they’re doing is, they’re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying: “Oh, they’re not in the Border Patrol (custody). But they’re right next door,”‘ said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.). The administration released images showing a sharp decrease in crowding at the Donna, Texas facility pictured above

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.)

Homeland Security officials this week released photos showing its previously crowded Donna facilities had been emptied out considerably compared to a few weeks ago. 

Harris said Wednesday she is likely to visit Mexico and Guatemala in early June as she seeks to address the root causes of immigration. 

The Biden administration on Wednesday cited a 90 per cent drop in people held in Border Patrol custody – 600 at the end of April compared to 5,000 in March. 

‘The amount of time children spend in CBP custody is down 75 percent, from 131 hours at the end of March to under 30 hours now,’ White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

‘After four years of an immigration system rooted in destructive and chaotic policies, President Biden is taking the challenge head on and building a fair, orderly and humane immigration system, that is our objective,’ she added. 

HHS has opened 14 new emergency shelters to deal with the problem. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to HHS for additional comment. 

Texas Democrat says Biden is making migrant facilities look empty by moving children into tents

Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar is accusing the Biden administration of moving unaccompanied minors from one border facility to another to create the impression it is emptying crowded holding areas.

Cuellar, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, accused the Department of Health and Human Services of using the tactic to secure better images of its crowded Donna, Texas facility.  

‘All they’re doing is, they’re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying: “Oh, they’re not in the Border Patrol (custody). But they’re right next door,”‘ Cuellar said.

Meanwhile, the  HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement reported this week that there are currently 22,195 unaccompanied children in its custody – a new record. Additionally, 2,000 children are being held by other federal agencies, the Washington Examiner reported. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared Thursday on former Obama advisor David Axelrod’s podcast, and provided her most fulsome explanation for why Biden has resisted calls that he visit the border.

‘We’re often asked, “Why doesn’t he go to the border?”‘ she told Axelrod. ‘Important issue. We’re focused on it,’ she said. 

‘What percentage of the public is focused on the border? A much smaller percentage than who’s focused on the pandemic and the economy. So that may be maddening, but, you know, that’s what we try to do,’ she added.

A government handout photo shows the temporary processing facilities for migrants in Donna, Texas, U.S., April 30, 2021. U.S. officials have reduced the number of unaccompanied children held in border stations in recent weeks as children have been moved to emergency shelters. But Rep. Henry Cuellar says children are being moved from one tent to another 

Cuellar was referencing the effort to transfer minors from Customs and Border Control custody to HHS. The law requires they be transferred within a 72 hour period, although the Administration struggled to comply amid a surge at the border this spring.

He told Border Report the minors held in government custody were simply moved to nearby tent facilities operated by HHS.

‘But they’re right next door. They’re just next door in HHS,’ he said. 

He said officials ‘set up maybe five tents that are run by HHS.’

LAST MONTH: In this March 30, 2021, file photo young minors lie inside a pod at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in Donna, Texas.

LAST MONTH: In this March 30, 2021, file photo young minors lie inside a pod at the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in Donna, Texas.

In this March 30, 2021, file photo, young unaccompanied migrants, from ages 3 to 9, watch television inside a playpen at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas.

In this March 30, 2021, file photo, young unaccompanied migrants, from ages 3 to 9, watch television inside a playpen at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas.

'All they’re doing is, they’re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying: "Oh, they’re not in the Border Patrol (custody). But they're right next door,"' said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.). The administration released images showing a sharp decrease in crowding at the Donna, Texas facility pictured above

‘All they’re doing is, they’re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying: “Oh, they’re not in the Border Patrol (custody). But they’re right next door,”‘ said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.). The administration released images showing a sharp decrease in crowding at the Donna, Texas facility pictured above

An asylum-seeking migrant father carries his child while waiting to be escorted by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico, in Roma, Texas, U.S., May 6, 2021

An asylum-seeking migrant father carries his child while waiting to be escorted by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico, in Roma, Texas, U.S., May 6, 2021

Asylum-seeking migrant families walk from shore to hand themselves in to the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico, in Roma, Texas, May 6, 2021

Asylum-seeking migrant families walk from shore to hand themselves in to the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the Rio Grande river into the United States from Mexico, in Roma, Texas, May 6, 2021

The HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement reported this week that there are currently 22,195 unaccompanied children in its custody

The HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement reported this week that there are currently 22,195 unaccompanied children in its custody

Homeland Security officials this week released photos showing its previously crowded Donna facilities had been emptied out considerably compared to a few weeks ago. 

Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday she is likely to visit Mexico and Guatemala in early June as she seeks to address the root causes of immigration. 

The Biden administration on Wednesday cited a 90 per cent drop in people held in Border Patrol custody – 600 at the end of April compared to 5,000 in March. 

‘The amount of time children spend in CBP custody is down 75 percent, from 131 hours at the end of March to under 30 hours now,’ White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.)

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tex.)

‘After four years of an immigration system rooted in destructive and chaotic policies, President Biden is taking the challenge head on and building a fair, orderly and humane immigration system, that is our objective,’ she added. 

HHS has opened 14 new emergency shelters to deal with the problem. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to HHS for additional comment. 

Biden considers raising US refugee cap to 62,500 after Democrat backlash

Biden may finally raise the refugee cap to 62,500 in 2021 after White House flip-flops several times and was accused by Democrats of sticking with Trump’s ‘xenophobic policies’

  • President Joe Biden’s administration may again set the refugee cap at 62,500 for 2021, after 11 days of mixed messaging on the subject 
  • The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the White House was again considering setting the refugee cap to the higher number
  • The administration had first committed to 62,500 in February before announcing on April 16 that it would leave the 15,000 cap in place 
  • After several hours of pushback from refugee groups and liberal activists, the White House said a new cap would be announced on May 15 
  • The Post charted that the White House changed its story on what happened six times in three weeks 
  • Biden said on April 17 that he was concerned about resources because of the uptick in migrants coming to the southern border 
  • On April 1, White House press secretary Jen Psaki had denied the two issues were related  

President Joe Biden’s administration may finally set the refugee cap at 62,500 for 2021, after 11 days of mixed messaging on the subject. 

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the White House was again considering setting the refugee cap to the higher number, which the administration had first committed to in February, before announcing on April 16 that it would leave the cap at 15,000.

The move infuriated refugee groups and political allies on the left.

Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, said it was an example of Biden ‘upholding the xenophobic and racist policies of the Trump admin.’  

A Post story from Friday tracked the White House changing its story about what happened six times in three weeks.  

President Joe Biden’s administration may set the refugee cap at 62,500 for the remainder of fiscal year 2021, after 11 days of mixed messaging on the subject 

President Joe Biden's White House has had to play clean-up after an April 16 announcement that said the refugee cap would remain at the Trump-era low of 15,000

President Joe Biden’s White House has had to play clean-up after an April 16 announcement that said the refugee cap would remain at the Trump-era low of 15,000 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki had said on April 1 that moving the refugee cap wasn’t tied to the surge of migrants at the southern border. 

However, on April 17, the president said that it did. 

‘The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people,’ Biden said. ‘We couldn’t do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number.’ 

The Post had also reported that ‘Biden harbored concerns about what the sharp increase in migrants at the southern border meant for the government’s capacity to handle an influx of refugees from elsewhere.’ 

The Office of Refugee Resettlement is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is also tasked with providing housing for unaccompanied minors who have crossed the southern border. 

On Wednesday, Psaki spoke of the ‘challenges to our resources’ when initially asked why Biden overruled Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other national security experts by keeping the cap at the lower number for the April 16 announcement. 

‘I’m obviously not going to get into private conversations between the president and members of his national security team,’ Psaki first said.  

She then noted that funding has been transferred from other areas of HHS to address the crunch of children coming into the country over the border. 

She also pointed out that there had been a Trump-era hiring freeze at the ORR.  

Biden’s larger aim was to move the cap to 125,000 a fiscal year. 

In February, he had suggested half of that could be met in the remaining months of 2021, with the 2022 fiscal year beginning in October. 

But on closer inspection, the administration believed that wouldn’t be doable, which led to the April 16 announcement of keeping the Trump-era cap. 

But the Post reported Tuesday that sources inside the administration ‘suddenly sound hopeful’ that the 62,500 number can be close to being met. 

The White House said it would put out a new number in advance of May 15. 

That date was set on April 16, after refugee resettlement groups and liberal allies pushed back in protest over the announcement that the cap wouldn’t yet budge. 

The Post reported that a final decision hasn’t been made.   

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