Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday, March 8, asked for volunteers to help manage the “overwhelming” influx of migrants at the border. Only last week Mayorkas denied there was a crisis.

“Today, I activated the Volunteer Force to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as they face a surge in migration along the Southwest Border,” Mayorkas said in an email to staff, seen by Fox News.

“You have likely seen the news about the overwhelming numbers of migrants seeking access to this country along the Southwest Border,” he said. “President Biden and I are committed to ensuring our Nation has a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system while continuing to balance all of the other critical DHS missions.”

The volunteers will fill non-law enforcement positions, such as housekeeping, preparing meals, doing supply and prescription medicine rounds, and management rolls.

It is a concerning sign that the Biden administration will soon be facing a migrant crisis similar to that the country dealt with in 2019, which saw more than 140,000 apprehensions a month at its peak. Border numbers for February will be announced later this week and are expected to be significantly higher than those in January.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration is working to control the influx, but is refusing to call it a “crisis.” “I don’t think we need to put new labels on what we have already conveyed is challenging,” Psaki said when asked by a reporter whether the record influx of thousands of unaccompanied children qualifies as a “crisis.”

Psaki said the Biden administration is continuing to prioritize “humanity,” which is why the policy of accepting unaccompanied migrants under 18 was first introduced, but is “working on putting in place policies that can address what we’re seeing.”

On Monday, it was reported more than 3,200 unaccompanied children were stuck at the border, with around half being in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) holding facilities, beyond the legal limit of three days. The Biden administration is struggling to deal with the number of unaccompanied children trying to enter the United States.

The CBP holding cells, sometimes known as “hieleras,” or iceboxes, are not designed for children. They are typically small concrete rooms without a bed, and concrete or metal benches.

On March 3, Republican Reps. Andy Biggs and Brian Babin, who co-chair the Congressional Border Security Caucus, wrote to Mayorkas requesting a briefing on the administration’s plans to address what they see as a crisis. They warned that Biden administration policies are fueling it.

“Since January 20, 2021, the Biden Administration has issued multiple Executive Orders and DHS has announced numerous policy changes that have rolled back policies, such as the Migrant Protection Protocols [MPP], that were implemented by the previous administration,” they wrote in a letter, obtained exclusively by Fox News.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sent a letter to the president last Friday requesting a meeting with him to discuss the situation. A source familiar with the letter told Axios that McCarthy has yet to receive a response.

“I feel compelled to express great concern with the manner in which your administration is approaching this crisis, but with hope that we can work together to solve it,” McCarthy wrote. He and several other Republicans planned to travel to the border on Monday to assess the crisis.

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