Biden Administration officials visit border on Saturday to view migrant facilities

Local News

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on Feb. 22, 2021, drops off a family of migrants with very young children at the Humanitarian Respite Center in downtown McAllen, Texas. Only families with “tender age” children are being released and allowed into the interior, CBP officials say. (Border Report Photo/Sandra Sanchez)

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Several officials from President Biden’s Administration visited the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday to learn about the ongoing migrant crossings and how to best handle the situation.

14 members of the administration visited a Department of Homeland Security Border Patrol facility and a Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement facility in a disclosed area on Saturday.

The members received operational briefings, updates, and tours of the facilities.

Along with the directors of these facilities, they discussed capacity needs for oncoming migrants, rebuilding border infrastructure and the immigration system, and how to restore safe and efficient procedures to place unaccompanied children with family or sponsors.

Additionally, they spoke on how to ensure fair and humane treatment of immigrants.

Officials also discussed protecting the wellbeing of communities near the border during the COVID-19 pandemic while they deal with the influx of migrants.

Those who participated on the trip will be briefing President Biden on what they learned at the border. 

The following is a list of administration officials who attended the trip:

  • Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Susan Rice, Domestic Policy Advisor (White House) 
  • Liz Sherwood-Randall, Deputy National Security Advisor (NSC)
  • Julie Rodriguez, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (WH)
  • Julissa Reynoso, Chief of Staff to the First Lady (WH)
  • Norris Cochran, Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Esther Olavarria, Deputy Assistant to the President for Immigration (WH)
  • Katie Tobin, Senior Director for Transborder (NSC)
  • Erin Pelton, Senior Advisor to the Domestic Policy Advisor (WH)
  • Pili Tobar, White House Deputy Communications Director (WH)
  • Jennifer Higgins, DHS Associate Director for Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations
  • Marsha Espinosa, DHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
  • Jooyeun Chang, HHS ACF Head
  • Cindy Huang, HHS ORR Head

Note: KVEO sent a crew to cover the officials’ arrival on Saturday but media availability was not allowed. The information presented was sent in a release by White House officials.

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