(CNN) — The Biden administration has secured agreements for Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala to tighten their borders and stem the flow of migration, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration for the Domestic Policy Council Tyler Moran told MSNBC Monday.
“We’ve secured agreements for them to put more troops on their own border. Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala have all agreed to do this. That not only is going to prevent the traffickers, and the smugglers, and cartels that take advantage of the kids on their way here, but also to protect those children,” Moran said.
The Biden administration has struggled to keep up with the influx of migrants coming to the border and as there has been a major spike in the number of migrant children in US custody.
Moran also outlined a two-pronged approach to address the situation at the border, including processing unaccompanied minors safely in the US and addressing the reasons why people migrate to the US.
“We’re addressing the reasons that people are coming from the region. This is really important. If you just focus on our border, you’re not addressing why people are actually coming to our border. The President has a blueprint and he’s working with the vice president on this,” Moran said, citing in part investments in the region.
US Customs and Border Protection encountered 171,700 migrants in March, including a record number of unaccompanied minors, far exceeding the prior month’s totals and continuing an upward trend dating back to last year, according to preliminary data obtained by CNN.
The data underscores the ongoing challenge facing the Biden administration as officials scramble to set up emergency sites to house migrant children, many of whom have been held in poor conditions.
CBP also encountered 18,800 unaccompanied children at the border, according to the preliminary data, nearly doubling the number apprehensions of children in February and setting a record high. In May 2019, the highest month of arrests during that year’s crisis, CBP arrested 11,861 unaccompanied children at the US southern border.