DHS Admits Issues at Border With Mexico
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is finally admitting that things are amiss at the Southern border with Mexico. After weeks of denying that there was a problem, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is acknowledging that the record surge of foreigners trying to cross the border into the U.S. is overwhelming the agencies charged with protecting American soil.
As a result of the significant uptick in crossings, DHS has been forced to call in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help at the border. One particular problem as of late is the record number of unaccompanied minors coming over the border.
Mayorkas said that the activation of FEMA is part of a greater 90-day effort across the government to handle the surge. One of the goals of calling in FEMA is to transfer the minors out of Border Patrol custody more quickly.
Understanding the Reasons Behind the Problem
The influx of border crossings has been growing since April 2020. According to the DHS, the increase is being blamed on a variety of natural disasters, poverty issues, and violence happening in the Northern Triangle countries in Central America.
Under federal law, unaccompanied children arriving at the border need to be put in federal shelters within 72 hours of being apprehended by officials. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to adhere to this law because of so many new arrivals.
The continuing COVID-19 crisis complicates the issue even further because it makes it more difficult to provide appropriate spacing to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Mayorkas also said that FEMA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to find suitable lodging.