A large number of migrants seeking to cross the U.S.-Mexico border have been photographed wearing T-shirts and holding banners that bear slogans calling on President Joe Biden to let them enter the country.
“Biden, please let us in!” read the white T-shirts, worn by migrants from Central America and elsewhere at the San Ysidro crossing port in Tijuana, California. A number of photographs were captured by news wire service Reuters.
The numbers of children and families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border have risen in recent months and Biden, who took office on Jan. 20, has faced criticism from former President Donald Trump and others for rolling back hardline border policies, such as requiring asylum seekers to wait for their application to be processed outside the country.
Biden has also undone several Trump-era border security measures, including temporarily suspending deportations of illegal aliens, reversing Trump’s ban on travel from terror-prone countries, halting the remaining construction of the border wall, and issuing a sweeping immigration package to Congress that offers a legalization pathway to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
The president has also pledged to bring in 25,000 asylum-seekers who are waiting in Mexico for their immigration case to be adjudicated under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.
Critics of the Biden administration say these rollbacks, along with new rules, are driving the increase in illegal border crossings.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, however, has argued that the United States is not experiencing a crisis at the border, instead calling the situation “a challenge … that we are managing.”
When asked by a reporter this week whether there is a crisis at the border, Biden said: “No, we’ll be able to handle it.”
The group of migrants, at one point, knelt down as part of a demonstration, imploring the president to allow them to enter the country, according to news website Chapines USA. Men, women, and children were photographed taking part in the effort, as border patrol agents stood guard.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the White House for comment.
Progressive Democrats hope that Biden will take less of a hardline approach to the nation’s immigration policies than his predecessor. But Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats last week expressed frustration with the administration after it reopened a Trump-era shelter facility that was criticized at the time for not being licensed to care for children.
“This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay—no matter the administration or party,” the second-term congresswoman said on Twitter, referring to a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, that was used briefly in 2019, and now has the capacity for approximately 700 children, according to the DHS.
“Our fraught, unjust immigration system will not transform” after only two months into the Biden administration, she added. “That’s why bold reimagination is so [important].”
Charlotte Cuthbertson and Reuters contributed to this report.