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President Joe Biden refused to apologize for the situation at the border at his first White House news conference. Biden said the U.S. was expelling a majority of migrants, including families, under a COVID-19 public health order created by former President Donald Trump. “I make no apologies for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became president that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity,” he said. Some Democrats are criticizing conditions in the facilities holding migrant children and demanding the minors be released quicker. Republicans meanwhile claim Biden encouraged migrants to cross illegally when he terminated Trump’s policies. Reuters
In other federal immigration news…
Harris Leading Border Migration Control
Vice President Kamala Harris will lead efforts to handle the influx of migrants in the U.S.–Mexico border. This is the first issue Biden has publicly asked Harris to lead. Harris will oversee the Biden administration’s discussions with the Northern Triangle countries — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — while mainly focusing on reducing migration into the U.S. CBS News reported the Biden administration is planning on opening over 16,000 emergency beds for migrant children. “We are addressing it. We’re dealing with it. But it’s going to take some time. And are we frustrated? Are you frustrated? Yes, we are,” Harris said. HuffPost
Haitian Deportations Escalate Under Biden, Using Trump’s Health Order
The Biden administration has deported more Haitians in its first two months than the Trump administration did in a whole year. In its Invisible Wall report, the Haitian Bridge Alliance examined the public health rule that the Trump administration enacted to quickly expel migrants during the pandemic. The report revealed that Biden’s deportation pause hasn’t stopped expulsions under the rule, and that deportation flights to Haiti especially increased dramatically. Migrant advocacy groups argue the public health rule is a violation of the U.S.’s obligation to grant asylum seekers justice. The Guardian