A Texas Democrat from the border city of Laredo slammed the Biden administration Monday for not efficiently dealing with overcrowded, overwhelmed migrant processing facilities in the U.S.
“They’re not moving fast enough, with all due respect,” Rep. Henry Cuellar said. “They should move these kids as soon as possible to Health and Human Services.”
Cuellar released photos taken inside a Border detention facility in Donna, Texas, to bring attention to the wave of unaccompanied migrant children entering the U.S. in the two months since Biden took office. The pictures show hundreds of young migrants packed inside of tents, sleeping on mats with thin foil blankets, and watching small TV sets in the corners.
Nearly 16,000 migrant children were in U.S. custody as of Sunday, and more than 800 unaccompanied migrant children have been in Border Patrol custody for more than 10 days, far longer than the legal limit of 72 hours, according to reporting from NBC News.
Cuellar told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the Biden administration must “work with Mexico and Central America…to make sure that those countries are helping us.” The White House did not immediately return request for comment.
President Biden has assigned two members of the National Security Council, Roberta Jacobson and Juan Gonzalez, to address the growing influx of migrants at the border. Jacobson and Gonzalez will meet with officials from Mexico and Guatemala.
Cuellar told host Shepard Smith that the meetings are a promising step, but “they should have done that a long time ago.”
Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas defended the White House’s handling of the border situation on Sunday, saying the border is closed. He did not provide a timeline for when new facilities would open to help with overcrowding.