Pompeo Warns Biden Administration's Immigration Policy May Kill 'Kids All Across America'
14:31 GMT 04.10.2021 (Updated: 13:24 GMT 06.08.2022)
The Biden administration has drawn criticism from Republicans over the 46th president's handling of the situation on the US southern border, with the White House repeatedly calling the issue a "vital human challenge" instead of a "migration crisis".
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
has warned that President Joe Biden's failure to resolve the crisis at the US-Mexico border may result in the deaths of American children.
Speaking to New York's WABC 770 AM radio on Sunday, Pompeo emphasised that "this issue of securing America's borders is real" and that the Trump administration "took it seriously".
"We certainly worked to build out the wall, but we also made sure that we knew who was coming in and out of our country. This administration has essentially given up. They have adopted the posture of the progressive left, which is near open borders", the ex-secretary of state argued.
Then-US President Donald Trump
declared a national emergency to secure funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico, after massive caravans of migrants from Central America seeking asylum began to move toward the US through Mexico in the fall of 2018.
Pompeo, for his part, also said in the Sunday interview that "huge amounts of drugs are seeping into" the US, which is "going to kill Americans". He described the situation as "a humanitarian crisis and a national security crisis".
The former top US diplomat went on by asserting that "when you have these porous borders, these [drug] cartels figured out how to make money".
"They figured out not only how to get into Texas, California, and Arizona, but all across our country and build out networks. Our local law enforcement, our sheriff's offices are under enormous pressure because of these drugs. And you know, kids all across America are going to die as a result of the failure of this administration to secure that border", Pompeo claimed.
The comments come just days after the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) warned of an "alarming increase" in fake prescription pills containing fentanyl found in the US. The DEA argued the most of the bogus pills are made in Mexico from chemicals supplied by China and then smuggled into the US.
“DEA laboratory testing reveals a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit pills containing at least two milligrams of fentanyl [the deadly synthetic opioid], which is considered a lethal dose", the agency added.
Also last week, the DEA said that about 1.8 million fake tablets containing fentanyl were seized during a two-month probe that resulted in more than 800 arrests. According to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram, those tablets had the potential to kill more than 700,000 people.
In a separate development, around 15,000 migrants, mostly from Haiti, started to gather in Texas near the US-Mexico border
in mid-September, building a makeshift camp under a bridge that connects Del Rio in Texas with Mexico's Ciudad Acuna. On 24 September, Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas insisted that "there are no longer any migrants in the camp underneath the Del Rio International Bridge".
25 August 2021, 20:08 GMT
President Biden, in turn, recently said he takes responsibility for the situation with the influx of migrants from Haiti at the southern US border, in what came after footage showed the Haitian refugees supposedly being whipped and pushed by border patrol officers.
Since assuming office in January 2020, Biden has reversed several Trump-era immigration policies, such as the "Remain in Mexico" policy, which required migrants from Central America to wait for asylum hearings outside the US.
He also stopped the construction of the border wall and suspended the so-called "Asylum Cooperative Agreements" with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.