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Pressure Increases as Migrant Shelters Become Overcrowded

Susan Rice, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, believes staffers are doing an unacceptably slow job of releasing children to sponsors

Deanna Garcia

Apr 16, 2021

Rally in Brooklyn protesting the government's zero tolerance policy.

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President Joe Biden’s aides are facing both internal and external pressure as they try to shelter thousands of unaccompanied migrant children, with more arriving every day. Three officials said Susan Rice, Biden’s domestic policy adviser, has been hard on Health and Human Services staffers because she believes they are doing an unacceptably slow job of releasing children to sponsors. Shelter systems are overcrowded, forcing children to stay in packed border holding stations for far longer than is legally allowed. “It’s tense,” said Mark Weber, an HHS spokesman. “But it’s a healthy tension with high-powered folks aligned around the mission of making sure these kids are well-taken care of.” Reuters 

In other federal immigration news…

Pelosi Tells Biden to Accept More Refugees

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) nudged Biden on Thursday to increase the amount of refugees being accepted into the U.S. She said the U.S. has a responsibility to welcome foreigners facing danger at home. “We have a moral responsibility in the world — as every other country does, too — to receive refugees who have a well-founded fear of persecution or harm [if they] return to their own country,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol. Back in February, Biden vowed to quickly enhance the “badly damaged” refugee resettlement program. The current refugee cap is at 15,000, the lowest it’s ever been since the Refugee Act in 1980. Biden promised to raise the number to 125,000 at the beginning of the fiscal year on Oct. 1. The Hill 

GOP Claims Harris is Absent on Immigration Issues

House Republican leaders accused Vice President Kamala Harris of not being present in immigration issues, presenting the image of a milk carton with her face on it to allege she’s “missing” at the border. Biden has placed Harris in charge of handling the border influx, and House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (La.) wanted to know why Harris wasn’t personally visiting the area. “If she’s the vice president of the United States and the president put her in charge of this, Vice President Harris needs to go down to the border and see this for herself,” he said. However Harris did hold a White House meeting regarding immigration and announced plans to visit Mexico and Guatemala. She also met with experts on why so many migrants are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. HuffPost 



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