President Joe Biden's immigration policies are driving the migrant surge and ensuing border crisis, according to a Customs and Border Protection intelligence alert that was issued earlier this month.
What is the background?
Despite the largest wave of migrants in two decades overwhelming American immigration resources, Biden's administration has refused to acknowledge the humanitarian crisis unfolding at the southern U.S. border. They have, literally, refused to call the situation a "crisis."
Instead, the White House blames problems in the Northern Triangle region of Central America — which includes Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — for the push of migrants north to America.
"The president does not feel that children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships, and other dire circumstances is a crisis," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said this week. "He does feel that the crisis in Central America — the dire circumstances that many are fleeing from — that that is a situation we need to spend our time or effort on and we need to address it if we're going to prevent more of an influx of migrants from coming in years to come
What are the details?
According to Yahoo News, which first reported the news, CBP dispatched an intelligence cable on April 16 that said Biden's immigration policies are behind the growing crisis.
From Yahoo News:
The CBP document obtained by Yahoo News suggests some level of disagreement within the government about what exactly is causing the increase. CBP says that "large group apprehensions," referring to more than 100 migrants, continue to increase at the southern border, and says the surge is "largely attributable to perceptions of U.S. immigration policy changes, economic opportunities, elevated violence and reduced COVID-19 travel restrictions."
The CBP declined to provide additional details regarding Yahoo News' reporting.
"It is the policy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to not discuss the validity of any information related to potential unauthorized disclosure of law-enforcement-sensitive documents," the agency told the outlet.
What are others saying?
When Biden campaigned for the White House, he promised to reverse his predecessor's deterrent immigration policies. Biden has since made good on those promises, which critics, both Republicans and Democrats, attribute to the surge in migrants.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei also agree.
"Expectations were created that with the government of President Biden, there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so," López Obrador said last month.
Earlier this month, Giammattei said, "I believe in the first few weeks of the Biden administration, messages were confusing. ... They were compassionate messages that were understood by people in our country, especially the coyotes, to tell families, 'we'll take the children, the children can go in and once the children are there they will call their parents.' And so those messages were confusing. Not because of the way they were communicated, but because of the way they were translated here."
Meanwhile, a Department of Homeland Security official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Yahoo News that Biden's reversal of Trump's policies without having a replacement plan exacerbated problems.
"Is Biden to blame for all this? Yes, but not exclusively. Is it just Biden administration policy? No, but mostly," the official said. "Reversing course in regard to policy with no plan in place to handle this surge, that's the real issue here."