WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas led a visit by Biden administration officials to the U.S. border with Mexico on Saturday amid a growing number of border crossings and criticism by Republicans that an immigration crisis is brewing.
President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has sought to reverse rigid immigration polices set up by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, whose 2016 election and four-year presidency were dominated in part by his efforts to build a border wall and reduce the number of legal and illegal migrants coming into the United States.
Biden has faced criticism from immigration activists, too, who say unaccompanied migrant children and families are being held too long in detention centers instead of being released while their asylum applications are considered.
The White House said last week Biden had asked senior members of his staff to travel to the border to report back about the influx of unaccompanied minors making crossings. It declined at the time to release details about the timing of the trip, citing security and privacy concerns.
Mayorkas and other officials, including Biden’s domestic policy adviser Susan Rice, visited a border patrol facility and a refugee resettlement facility during their Saturday trip, the White House said in a…