Border crisis becomes political battleground

The influx of children at the U.S./Mexico border is forcing house Democrats to turn to a highly targeted issue of Biden’s priorities: immigration.
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 10:24 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The president said on Tuesday he has no plans right now to visit the border, but the growing surge in migrants here at home is casting a shadow over his victory on COVID relief.

The influx of children at the U.S./Mexico border is forcing house Democrats to turn to a highly targeted issue of Biden’s priorities: immigration.

As the numbers continue to rise, with children arriving alone, the solution remains very political.

“The difference is obviously COVID,” said Joe Barron. “We are seeing a lo0t pregnant women- a lot of women who just gave birth with babies. They’e two days old- one day old- two weeks old.”

Joe Barron, an employee at the Holding Institute of Laredo, is shocked by the controversy exacerbating tensions in congress as democrats attempt to move early immigration bills this week.

“We’re also now dealing with not only COVID. We’re also dealing with babies or kids that have chicken pox. We need space- a room to quarantine chicken pox- a room to quarantine COVID.”

“We have an average of about 65 people per night,” said Mike Smith. “Some people stay longer. We’re receiving maybe 30 per day, but not everybody leaves immediately because a lack of transportation, a lack finances- so most people average two nights.”

There’s nothing average about the outcry toward’s the Biden administration’s intent to provide a route to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and another granting legal protections to migrant framer workers, which are expected to be blocked by Republicans in the the 50/50 senate.

Some feel the attack is too soon.

”This administration has been in office six or seven weeks,” said Roberta Jacobson. “We’ve moved swiftly to make sure that we restore humanity to our immigration policy. And in doing so, that obviously means we have to treat people and children especially well.”

Joel Ramirez, a young father from Honduras, is at the Holding Institute and he says his ordeal has been traumatic.

“The most difficult thing for was the first night I was forced to sleep outside in the brush. I was cold and afraid with my little girl sick. It was hard.”

With stories like that of Ramirez, Barron reminds us that compassion can still go a long way.

“We need to be ready. There’s a lot of people coming but at the same time, they are human beings and we should open the doors to the ones who are coming through.”

Advocates say something needs to be done quickly.

The United Nations and Anchor of Mexico, an organization dedicated to helping migrants and refugees seeking asylum, will be here later this week to establish their assessment of the situation.”

The Biden administration insists the majority of migrants crossing are adults and they are being sent back across the border because of COVID.

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