TENNESSEE (WATE) — Republican Leaders, including Tennessee Congressmen Chuck Fleishmann and John Rose, are blaming the Biden Administration for the increase in illegal migration numbers.
Immigration rights advocates say the Biden administration is walking a fine line between helping those crossing the border and protecting the American people.
“Today we are seeing a crisis,” said Representative Fleishmann.
He was one of several congressional delegates to tour the southern border on Monday.
“What we need to do is no more euphemisms from this White House,” Fleishmann added. “No more maneuvering by Pelosi and Schumer to try to try to call it a challenge. It is a crisis with dire, multiple problems involved with this.”
The GOP has blamed the Democratic Party for the increase in immigration numbers, specifically children crossing the border without parents.
“As I think about the people I represent back in Tennessee, I call upon our president to end this nightmare by announcing to the world that the southern border of the United States is open for legal immigration,” said Congressman John Rose.
Though Tennessee is a long way from the border, it is still impacted by the change in power and their approach to immigration.
“High school immigration that we see a lot of at UT and Oak Ridge then also manual labor work and that’s where the real labor demands are,” said Knoxville Immigration Lawyer Jeremy Jennings.
Jennings adds that the U.S. response to the Coronavirus, with a number of crossing closed, cut down on the flow of migrants coming into the country.
“It’s a critical situation and the Biden administration has a tough line to walk between their deciding to treat people with dignity and respect but to also protect the country during a pandemic.”
In 2020 Knox County was the only county in Tennessee that agreed to take part in the 287-G program which allows sheriff’s deputies to perform some of the functions of immigration officers.
With the Biden administration changing priorities, Knox County’s Sheriff said last month the program was slowing down.