Increased migrant numbers could be a major campaign issue for the 2022 election
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas led a delegation of Biden administration officials to the Mexican border Saturday amid rising border crossings and criticism from Republicans who say an immigration crisis is brewing.
Democratic President Joe Biden is trying to reverse tough immigration policies set by his predecessor Donald Trump, Efforts to build a wall at the border and reduce the number of legal and illegal immigrants coming to the United States have been one of the dominant features of the Trump presidency.
Biden has faced criticism from immigration activists who argue that unaccompanied migrant children and families spend too long in detention centers rather than being released while their asylum applications are processed.
The White House said the other day that Biden had asked senior members of his staff to visit the border and provide information about the influx of unaccompanied minors who cross the border. The White House did not specify the timing of the trip, citing security and privacy concerns.
Mallorcas and other officials, including Biden’s domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, visited a refugee resettlement center during Saturday’s trip, the White House said Sunday.
“They discussed capacity needs, given the number of unaccompanied children and families arriving at our border, as well as the challenges of rebuilding our shattered border infrastructure and immigration system,” the White House said.
The influx of people seeking to cross the U.S. border is likely to be an important topic in the 2022 midterm elections. Trump could use it to rally his voters against Biden and lay the groundwork for a potential comeback as a presidential candidate in 2024 or as a way to support another Republican successor.
“The border is crumbling right now. Immigration will be a bigger issue in 2022 than it was in 2016,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday on Fox News.
Graham is a close Trump ally.