President Joe Biden says his administration is working on getting beds and other facilities up and running so children held in Border Patrol custody can be transferred.
Watch Biden’s remarks in the player above.
Biden says in his first news conference that most of the migrants who are coming to the U.S.-Mexico border are being sent back, except for children. He says his administration is working to ease delays so children can be released from government custody to sponsors.
Biden says when parents send their children alone across the border, it’s a “desperate act.” The president says he wants to help change the conditions in Central American countries when the migrants are coming from, but he says there’s no easy answer.
Biden is pushing back against the idea there’s a crush of migrants coming to the border.
The Biden administration announced on Feb. 2 that it would no longer uphold the Trump administration policy of automatically deporting unaccompanied minors seeking asylum. Two weeks later, the White House announced plans to admit 25,000 asylum-seekers to the United States who’d been forced to remain in Mexico.
Since then, the number of young migrants crossing into the U.S. without adults has risen. Both Customs and Border Protection, and Health and Human Services officials have struggled to house the influx of children.
Biden says his administration is working on solutions to manage the number of children coming to the border. Biden officials have largely blamed the problems on what they say were shoddy Trump policies.