This article was originally published on The Western Journal.
Recent coverage of the southern border has revealed that there are dire conditions in certain areas, and the Biden administration is trying to keep it quiet.
One facility holding migrant children in Donna, Texas, was operating at 729 percent capacity at the beginning of March, CBS News reported. Even more disturbing, some children interviewed claimed they were hungry and most said they were unable to shower more than once or twice while in custody, according to a lawyer representing migrant minors.
In addition, border apprehensions have seen a massive uptick, Customs and Border Protection data reveals.
Yet the Biden administration is downplaying the severity of the surge at the border, despite the clear issues.
When asked last week by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy if the White House has a “messaging problem” when it comes to migrants at the border, press secretary Jen Psaki added her partisan spin, saying, “In the last administration, we had a morality problem.”
But considering the recent developments at the border, it would be disingenuous to say that this administration is not guilty of the same things it accuses the Trump administration of.
No high-profile leader in the Biden administration, including Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, has acknowledged the ongoing crisis — at least not publicly and directly. Although Mayorkas has asked for workers within his agency to volunteer to aid CBP, according to Fox News, he has also blamed the previous administration and not taken any accountability.
The White House can blame the Trump administration all it wants, but the surge ought to be attributed to the fact that migrants believed Biden would be much more lenient, even if that is not true.
The “Remain in Mexico” policy required asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting legal proceedings in the United States. Critics of the policy argued that it put migrants in dangerous situations, including camps near the border where people awaiting a court hearing lived in squalor.
By contrast, “catch and release” places some of these migrants into border communities in the United States instead of detention facilities. “Catch and release” has its own issues as well, as it opens the door for more drug and human trafficking in the United States.
Of course, understanding the difference between these two policies does not explain the full story of what is happening at the border.
There is a level of empathy needed to truly understand the border crisis. While crime is a major issue, most migrants make the risky journey to seek better lives for themselves and their families. Many of those, of course, come from nations plagued by violence and unstable governments.
If the United States truly wants to prevent illegal immigration from the southern border, it has two options: secure the border heavily as a deterrent, or get involved in the affairs of Central and South American nations to better improve the quality of life there.
No matter how someone slices it, the immigration system in the United States is a tragedy, and the current and previous administrations have done little to truly reform it by deterring illegal crossing, preventing criminal activity and streamlining the legal process.
If Biden is truly interested in “unity,” he needs to take responsibility for the border crisis — then work to fix it.