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Pelosi made the comments at her weekly news conference at the Capitol Thursday where she also said President Biden is very engaged on the immigration issue and “deals with [it] every day.” She met with Biden Wednesday at the White House along with other bipartisan congressional leaders.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), holds her weekly press conference in the United States Capitol in Washington, U.S., May 13, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
“The President was totally knowledgeable, chapter and verse, [and] very concerned,” Pelosi said of the border issues.
Harris, who was put in charge of leading diplomatic efforts to resolve the border crisis in March, has yet to visit the Northern Triangle although she has held “virtual” meetings with leaders of both Guatemala and Mexico. She is due to visit both countries at the beginning of next month.
Republicans have accused Harris of showing a lack of urgency about the problems and said at the very least she could visit the border instead of scheduling domestic travel.
Sen. Bill Hagerty returned late Friday from a visit to Mexico and Guatemala, where he met with top officials of both countries a month before Harris is due to make a similar trip. The Tennessee Republican called out the vice president for not addressing “the most urgent national security and economic problem we face as a nation.”
“This needs to be fixed now,” Hagerty, a former ambassador to Japan, told Fox News. “This isn’t something to take our time with, to have conference after conference and endless bureaucrat meetings, we need to do something about it now.”
The number of migrants encountered at the border in April increased slightly compared to already high numbers encountered in March, according to immigration released Tuesday — although the number of unaccompanied minors coming across decreased.
CBP encountered 178,622 migrants trying to enter the U.S. in April, a three percent increase over the approximately 172,000 encountered in March, which was the highest number in 20 years.
But Pelosi Thursday said progress has already been made and she pointed to the April border numbers that she said showed an “80% decrease of the number of children under the auspices of the Border Patrol.”
“They had been moved out more expeditiously than before because the Biden-Harris Administration had reconstructed how we deal with the situation at the border,” Pelosi said.
Migrant women carry children in the rain at an intake area after turning themselves in upon crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, late Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in La Joya, Texas. The U.S. government continues to report large numbers of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with an increase in adult crossers. But families and unaccompanied children are still arriving in dramatic numbers despite the weather changing in the Rio Grande Valley registering hotter days and nights. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
The number of children in border control custody indeed dropped from March to April, but it’s because they were transported more quickly from those crowded processing facilities to the care of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is the agency charged with sheltering the children. The number of migrant children in HHS custody, however, nearly doubled from 11,900 on March 24 to 20,519 by May 11, according to HHS data.
Pelosi said the Biden-Harris team is addressing the “three Rs” which she said are root causes of the problem, reconstructing the “horrible situation” that the Trump administration created at the border and resettling refugees.
“Vice President Harris, but with the resources of the Biden-Harris administration, [will] get to the root cause of it, reconstruct the system that was there so that it works better, and third, understand our responsibility to refugees,” Pelosi said. “The three R’s.”
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.