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US senator slams Biden for not addressing humanitarian crisis at border

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Democratic Senator Mark Kelly

Democratic Senator Mark Kelly from Arizona has slammed US President Joe Biden for not presenting a comprehensive plan to address the humanitarian crisis of migrants at the southern border during his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

“While I share President Biden’s urgency in fixing our broken immigration system, what I didn’t hear tonight was a plan to address the immediate crisis at the border, and I will continue holding this administration accountable to deliver the resources and staffing necessary for a humane, orderly process as we work to improve border security, support local economies, and fix our immigration system," Kelly said in a statement following Biden's speech on Wednesday.

Near the end of his speech, Biden urged Congress to "end our exhausting war over immigration."

"For more than 30 years, politicians have talked about immigration reform and we’ve done nothing about it. It’s time to fix it," the US president said. "Now look, if you don’t like my plan, let’s at least pass what we all agree on. Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for Dreamers, the young people who have only known America as their home."

President Biden vowed to unwind many of the immigration policies of Trump when he assumed office on Jan. 20, saying he would erase what he has called "a moral and national shame" inherited from Trump. But he has reneged on many of his promises after assuming the office.

Biden is under fire now over the growing humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border, where an influx of refugee fleeing violence and economic hardship in Central and South America.

The White House is, in particular, wrestling with reports about conditions in overcrowded detention centers for unaccompanied immigrant children.

More than 10-thousand kids, including many of those forcibly separated from their parents, are now in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services as US officials are struggling to process them.

Earlier this month, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar condemned “shameful” Biden for reneging on his refugee promise and keeping in place the former Trump administration’s cap on refugee admissions for fiscal year 2021.

Omar and few other lawmakers urged Biden in a letter to raise the Trump-era cap of 15,000 to 62,500, which the Biden administration had proposed to Congress earlier this year.

After Biden drew criticism from Democratic lawmakers for agreeing to keep the historically low figure in place, he said he will raise the cap on the number of refugees admitted this year to the United States.

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