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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that President Joe Biden is too busy “taking actions” to visit the border.

Psaki said Biden is focused on “taking actions and moving forward policies to ensure we are expediting the processing at the border, that we are opening more facilities, that we are putting in place policies that will move kids more quickly through the border patrol facilities, more quickly into safe and secure homes and that’s where his focus is.”

Biden told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t anticipate going to the border. The president and his key advisors are traveling to battleground states this week to advance the American Rescue Plan, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that the number of apprehensions at the southern border is set to reach a 20-year high, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas said unaccompanied children aren’t being turned away, but the majority of single adults and families are.

Biden has embarked on a nationwide tour promoting the coronavirus aid bill, including a trip to Pennsylvania Tuesday and a scheduled visit to Georgia on Friday, the WSJ reported. Vice President Kamala Harris plans to visit Colorado and Nevada.

Psaki said Biden has been speaking with border officials and said members of the White House staff, who have visited migrant facilities, gave Biden a briefing that included pictures. She said the president receives updates regularly regarding the southern border.

Psaki said Biden prioritizes the border situation and is questioning senior officials about changes at the border.

“Certainly he’s asking questions in a range of meetings with senior officials about progress that’s made about systems that he thinks should be unstuck, about looking for more creative ideas to help ensure these kids are treated, they are put into safe places and that the work is expedited at the border,” Psaki said.

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Biden administration

VIDEO: Biden administration faces lawsuit from Texas, Missouri

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Texas AG Ken Paxton tells newsmen that he believes the states will win in court and discusses the debate over reforming the Supreme Court.

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Border Crisis

Sen. Blackburn asks Biden admin why U.S. spending $284K per migrant family to keep them in hotels

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“The cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” the Tennessee senator says.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn has done the math.

The Tennessee Republican’s interest was piqued after the Biden administration announced its intention to spend nearly $87 million to house 1,200 foreigners who illegally cross the border in hotel rooms in the U.S.

“As the current contract stands, the cost to taxpayers for housing 1,200 migrant families for six months is about $71,000 per person,” Blackburn wrote in a letter Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Tae Johnson. “For a family of four, that amounts to a shocking $284,000 – enough to buy a small house.”

Earlier this month, the administration awarded ICE an $86.9 million contract through Texas-based nonprofit Endeavors, which will provide hotel rooms near the border for temporary shelter. But Blackburn also questions how the group spends its money.

She said Endeavors in 2018 collected more than $38 million in contributions and grants but noted that “IRS filings show that nearly $22 million or almost half of those contributions went to salaries.”

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“This raises questions if half of the $86.9 million in ICE contract proceeds will likewise be allocated toward employee and executive compensation instead of migrant services or housing,” Blackburn wrote in her letter.

She also expressed concerns that Endeavors’ CEO Jon Allman has not provided “specific details about the contract.”

“It is unclear whether this nonprofit has ever previously managed a contract of this magnitude, housed a migrant population of this size or served vulnerable children without putting them at further risk,” Blackburn wrote. “DHS and ICE must provide commitments to assure Congress and the American public that Endeavors is up for the task of securely and efficiently housing illegal immigrants without resulting in waste or abuse of taxpayer dollars, or worse, harming vulnerable migrant children.”

Blackburn asked for answers by April 15.

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Border Crisis

Joe Biden: ‘I Don’t Care’ if Donald Trump Visits the Border

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President Joe Biden dismissed the news that former President Donald Trump is considering a visit to the southern border.

A reporter questioned Biden about the border crisis, and reports about Trump’s possible visit, as he returned to Washington from a weekend at his home in Delaware.

“We are putting in place a plan that I feel very confident about,” Biden replied. “And I don’t care what the other guy does.”

Biden did not answer a question about when he would make his own trip to visit the border.

Former President Trump confirmed he is interested in visiting the border to highlight Biden’s border crisis in the “next couple of weeks,” during an interview Saturday on Fox News.

“Thousands and thousands of people are coming up right now as we speak,” Trump said. “And you’re going to have millions of people pouring into our country. And it’s going to destroy our country.”

Biden continues struggling to manage the border crisis, despite publicly delegating Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday to lead the administration’s efforts to secure the border.

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But on Friday, Harris’s team clarified that the vice president “was not doing the border” but only leading the “diplomatic efforts” with Latin American countries to address the root causes of migration.

Both Biden and Harris refuse to commit to visiting the border, despite record numbers of unattended child migrants crossing into the U.S. and overwhelming Border Patrol detention facilities.

Despite the Biden administration repeatedly telling migrants the border is closed, the president makes it clear that unattended migrant children are not getting sent back.

“The only people we’re not going to let sitting there on the other side of the Rio Grande by themselves with no help are children,” Biden said during his press conference on Sunday.

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