President Biden said he does plan to go to the southern border to see conditions there for himself, although he did not specify when. A recent surge in migrants - including thousands of unaccompanied minors - has put the President's immigration policies under the microscope and his administration on the hot seat.
The first crisis of the Biden White House didn't go away over the weekend. Conditions at the southern border haven't improved, and it's getting harder for the president to avoid confronting the dilemma head-on. Returning to the White House from Camp David Sunday, the president was put on the spot by reporters:
Reporter: "Are you thinking of going to the border?"
President Biden: "At some point, I will. yes."
Reporter: "Do you want to see firsthand what's going on in those facilities?"
President Biden: "I know what's going on in those facilities."
So far, however, the administration has not given media access to the detention facilities, citing COVID-19 concerns. Descriptions of crowded and poor conditions have come from both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have been to the facilities that are currently holding several thousand minors who crossed the border illegally and unaccompanied by adults.
"And so, it's irresponsible." said Sen. Rob Portman, (R) Ohio, who was there this past weekend. "You know, they say, 'Well, it's more humane.' I don't think it's humane to encourage kids to make this treacherous journey north and then have to live in these kinds of conditions."
Administration officials say they are discouraging, not encouraging, people from coming to the border, while also trying to rebuild a system that was dismantled by the previous administration.
"When people say, 'Well, you knew of this', plans aren’t made at 20,000 feet," said Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Health and Human Services. "Plans are contracts, personnel, policies, training, procedures."
Republicans, including the members of Oklahoma's delegation, don't buy it. They say this is just poor leadership.
"The reality is the border was under control when President Biden took office," said Rep. Tom Cole, (R) OK-4. "It’s out of control now that he’s been in office for essentially two months."