McConnell Blasts Biden Administration for Blaming Border Crisis on Trump

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “McConnell Blasts Biden Administration for Blaming Border Crisis on Trump” – below is their description.

    President Joe Biden is confronting an influx of migrants at the southern U.S. border without permanent leaders at key agencies that oversee immigration enforcement and shelters, threatening to hamper the administration’s response to a growing crisis.

    Biden has yet to nominate a commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, which apprehends migrants attempting to illegally cross the border and controls ports of entry. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, which oversees the office that runs shelters for children and teens arriving without parents, also lacks a nominee.

    The president also hasn’t named permanent leaders for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, two agencies that will implement new visa and enforcement measures that are core components of Biden’s pledge to create a more humane and welcoming immigration system. Immigration services also administers the naturalization system.

    The administration’s handling of surging numbers of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. GOP lawmakers have blamed Biden, saying his reversal of former President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policies have encouraged more border crossings, a charge the administration rejects. Democrats have objected to Biden’s use of an emergency public-health order to expel most migrants arriving at the border.

    “The one thing about having political leadership — Senate-confirmed, high-level political leadership — is the heft,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “Having that ability to command an organization, especially if you’re responding to a crisis, is important.”

    With acting officials in charge, it is more difficult to get buy-in from rank-and-file employees on policy changes, according to Brown, a former DHS official, as well as other people who previously worked at the department. Acting officials also have less clout than confirmed leaders to get a response from the White House about possible concerns from agency workers about policies, they said.

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