The Biden administration plans to send money to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to help them solve their economic woes and prevent their citizens from migrating to the United States. Illegal crossings into the Southern United States are at a 15-year high.

In an interview with Reuters on Friday, April 9, President Joe Biden’s border czar Roberta Jacobson said the administration is mulling a conditional cash transfer program to help these Central American countries address economic issues she claimed are leading migrants to trek north.

“We’re looking at all of the productive options to address both the economic reasons people may be migrating, as well as the protection and security reasons,” said Jacobson, who works as the Special Assistant to the President and Coordinator for the Southern Border.

“The one thing I can promise you is the U.S. government isn’t going to be handing out money or checks to people,” she said.

However, Reuters reported that Jacobson “did not provide a detailed explanation of how a cash transfer program would work.”

President Biden has pledged $4 billion in aid to the Northern Triangle countries to help quell their domestic violence and corruption and reduce their poverty, claimed as the reasons that people are fleeing north and causing an immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

However, the surge of migrants did not occur under former President Trump’s watch and began after Biden took office.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Thursday released their operational statistics, which show they encountered more than 172,000 persons attempting entry along the southwest border in March 2021, a surge of 71% from February 2021. That number represents the highest illegal border crossings in 15 years.

The number of migrant apprehensions has been surging since Biden took office earlier this year. (Source: CBP)

CBP said they had over 569,800 encounters already this fiscal year, up 24% from the total encounters they had during all of the fiscal year 2020 and up over 34% from approximately the same time frame of the fiscal year 2019. 

CBP data also shows that Border Patrol agents picked up 18,890 unaccompanied children at the southwest border in March—a 100% increase over February.

Earlier this year, CBP said that they detained nearly 78,000 migrants at the border in January and more than 100,000 migrants in February—the highest number for February since 2006.

Republicans blame the crisis on Biden’s weak immigration policies and “zero care” from the Biden–Harris administration, which has refused to call it a crisis.

Below are some reactions from some Republican lawmakers following the CBP data.