President Joe Biden’s immigration policies are motivating parents in other countries to send their children alone to the United States’ southern border, a former top immigration adviser during the previous administration said on Sunday.
“The administration’s policy of resettling any 17-year-old or younger who was trafficked to our borders, is a global policy of family separation. What they are saying to every family on planet Earth, is split off your own children and put them into the hands of coyotes and cartels if you want them to gain entry to this country,” Stephen Miller, who advised former President Donald Trump, said on Fox Business’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“So instead of working through an actual humanitarian refugee process—that’s what you want to do, where you go in country with the U.N., any part of the world where you want to, and you have an actual refugee screening process, and you establish a transparent refugee ceiling. Instead of doing that, what they are doing is they are incentivizing long-term family separation. That is the policy of the Biden administration. And that needs to be said, it needs to be said clearly,” he added.
After the COVID-19 pandemic started, Trump administration officials utilized Title 42 powers to expel illegal immigrants who crossed into the United States, including unaccompanied minors, or children who arrive at the border with no adult.
The Biden administration, as part of its reversal of a number of key Trump-era policies, stopped expelling illegal immigrant children in January.
“We are expelling families. We are expelling single adults. And we’ve made a decision that we will not expel young, vulnerable children,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Miller said that unaccompanied minors are typically between the ages of 14 and 17 years old.
Mayorkas, like other administration officials, has claimed the border is closed. But on March 1, he told reporters that the message was to come, but to wait for a period of time.
“We are not saying, ‘Don’t come.’ We are saying, ‘Don’t come now because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible,’” he said at the White House.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” said those remarks were “very irresponsible rhetoric,” especially coming from the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
The change to the messaging is “too little, too late, because the traffickers know they can take children from Central America, extort the families, exploit the children on the dangerous journey back to the United States,” he said. “And now, you know, they’re calling back home saying, ‘hey, we got in.’”
Biden and his officials should consider reimplementing the Migration Protection Protocols, which kept asylum seekers waiting outside the country and deterred many from making the journey to the United States, he recommended.