Kevin McCarthy leads Republican delegation to the border as pressure mounts on Biden to fix crisis amid reports migrant children are being held in 'jail-like' conditions

 Pressure is mounting on President Joe Biden to fix situation at the border as a group of Republicans heads there Monday to highlight the crisis amid reports the children are living in overcrowded 'jail-like' conditions. 

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will visit the border in El Paso, Texas, with fellow GOP lawmakers as a surge of unaccompanied minors has led to them being held in warehouse-like detention facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

The situation is being described as a humanitarian crisis as children live in crowded conditions - some without beds - and unable to shower or get enough to eat.  

The Biden administration repeatedly has refused to call it a 'crisis' as they struggle to process the minors so the children can be transferred to the DHS shelters where they would stay until they could be united with family members already in the U.S. or with a sponsor. 

The children are supposed to be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services within three days. 

But more than 4,200 kids are being held in jail-like stations unfit to house them, according to government records reviewed by CBS News, with 3,000 held past the legal limit.

Migrant children and teenagers from the southern border of the United States being held a temporary facility in Midland, Texas

Migrant children and teenagers from the southern border of the United States being held a temporary facility in Midland, Texas

President Joe Biden
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy

President Joe Biden is facing mounting pressure to fix the situation at the border as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy leads a group of GOP lawmakers to El Paso on Monday to highlight the crisis

Intensive care tents sit in a row at a Influx Care Facility (ICF) for unaccompanied children in Carrizo Springs, Texas, where another temporary shelter has been built

Intensive care tents sit in a row at a Influx Care Facility (ICF) for unaccompanied children in Carrizo Springs, Texas, where another temporary shelter has been built

And the centers are well above capacity to hold the children - some by as much as 700 per cent. 

An average of 565 unaccompanied minors entered CBP custody each day during the past week. And they are spending an average of 117 hours in a border facility, CBS reported.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has said the facilities are 'no place for a child.'

But the administration has argued it needs its nominee to led DHS - Xavier Becerra - confirmed to help manage the situation. Biden, however, has yet to name nominees to lead CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, leaving those agencies without top leadership. 

Meanwhile, a new center was opened in Midland, Texas, on Sunday to help alleviate the overcrowding caused by the record number of migrants. A shelter also was recently opened in Carrizo Springs, Texas.

The Biden administration also directed the shelters to return to normal capacity, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, social distancing and other health protocols were in place to combat the disease. 

Media is not being allowed inside the shelters but lawyers are. Some of the attorneys told CBS News that the children told them they are hungry; only showering once in as many as seven days; and are not able to call family members. 

Migrant children and teenagers at the facility in Midland, Texas

Migrant children and teenagers at the facility in Midland, Texas

Coach-style buses carrying migrant children and teenagers from the southern border line up at the entrance of a temporary holding facility in Midland, Texas

Coach-style buses carrying migrant children and teenagers from the southern border line up at the entrance of a temporary holding facility in Midland, Texas

More than 4,200 kids are being held, according to government records reviewed by CBS News, with 3,000 held past the legal limit of three days

More than 4,200 kids are being held, according to government records reviewed by CBS News, with 3,000 held past the legal limit of three days


In what was seen as a nod to the growing gravity of the situation, Biden administration officials announced over the weekend that FEMA will help process the influx of children coming into the country.

'Our goal is to ensure that unaccompanied children are transferred to HHS as quickly as possible, consistent with legal requirements and in the best interest of the children,' Mayorkas said in a statement. 

And ICE has asked for volunteers to help at the border.

Both sides are blaming the other.

McCarthy has put the blame solely on Biden. He and other Republicans claim the surge in migrants is because Biden rolled back President Donald Trump's more restrictive immigration policies. 

'This crisis at the border is spiraling out of control,' McCarthy said last week. 'And it's entirely caused by the actions of this administration.'  

Biden lifted the Trump policy that required migrants to remain in Mexico while going through the legal process to enter the U.S., narrowed the ICE's criteria for arrests and deportations and stopped the building of Trump's border wall.  

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, blamed the Trump administration for the situation.

'What the administration has inherited is a broken system at the border and they are working to correct that in the children's interest,' she said Sunday on ABC's 'This Week.'

Meanwhile, the House will vote this week on two bills aimed at tackling the immigration crisis: The American Dream and Promise Act would establish a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children - known as the 'Dreamers' - while the Farm Workforce Modernization Act would allow agricultural workers to establish temporary status with an eventual option to become a permanent resident.

Last month, 100,000 migrants were caught trying to cross the southern border -  up 30 percent from January. 

And numbers are continuing to increase this month, with 125,000 migrants expected to arrive along the border in March, according to current data. 

That is the highest number in years - and officials fear the figure will soar even further throughout the spring.

Kevin McCarthy leads Republican delegation to the border as pressure mounts on Biden to fix crisis amid reports migrant children are being held in 'jail-like' conditions Kevin McCarthy leads Republican delegation to the border as pressure mounts on Biden to fix crisis amid reports migrant children are being held in 'jail-like' conditions Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:51 Rating: 5

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