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Sunday, 11 April 2021

Praying for divine intervention? Besieged Joe Biden goes to church as his administration considers sending cash payments to Central America to stop migrants flocking to the border

 Joe Biden has stepped out to attend Mass amid news that the U.S. is considering sending cash payments to Central America to stem the record-breaking number of migrants illegally crossing the southern border. 

Biden - who is a devout Catholic - was pictured waving to waiting media after the service at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Washington, DC on Saturday. 

The President may have been praying for divine intervention as the border crisis deepens, attracting harsh criticism from both Republicans and Democrats alike. 

Last month, more than 172,00 migrants were caught coming across the border illegally, including 18,890 unaccompanied minors - the highest number ever recorded. 

Amid reports of sexual abuse and unsanitary conditions inside overcrowded border facilities, the Biden Administration is now looking into a conditional cash transfer program to help address economic woes that lead migrants from certain Central American countries to trek north.

The potential program would be targeted at people in the Northern Triangle region of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. 

The news was revealed by outgoing southern border coordinator Roberta Jacobson on Saturday, but she did not say who exactly would receive cash.

Joe Biden has stepped out to attend Mass amid news that the U.S. is considering sending cash payments to Central America to stem the record-breaking number of migrants illegally crossing the southern border

Joe Biden has stepped out to attend Mass amid news that the U.S. is considering sending cash payments to Central America to stem the record-breaking number of migrants illegally crossing the southern border

Biden - who is a devout Catholic - was pictured waving to waiting media after the service at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Washington, DC on Saturday

Biden - who is a devout Catholic - was pictured waving to waiting media after the service at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Washington, DC on Saturday

Last month, more than 172,00 migrants were caught coming across the border illegally, including 18,890 unaccompanied minors - the highest number ever recorded. Migrants are seen arriving in Texas after crossing the Rio Grande with a people smuggler on Friday night 

A father carries his child to shore after crossing the Rio Grande in a dinghy operated by a people smuggler on Friday night

A father carries his child to shore after crossing the Rio Grande in a dinghy operated by a people smuggler on Friday night

Families from Central America are seen arriving in Texas on Friday night. They were detained by border patrol agents and taken to already overcrowded processing facilities

Families from Central America are seen arriving in Texas on Friday night. They were detained by border patrol agents and taken to already overcrowded processing facilities 

'We're looking at all of the productive options to address both the economic reasons people may be migrating, as well as the protection and security reasons,' Jacobson told Reuters. 

'The one thing I can promise you is the U.S. government isn't going to be handing out money or checks to people.  

On Friday it was announced that Jacobson will leave the White House at the end of April, after only committing to the role for the first 100 days of the new Administration.


However, in those 100 days, the number of migrants arriving into the U.S. has exploded - and Jacobson has admitted that Biden's softer border policies have fueled the surge. 

Biden has lifted the Trump policy that forced migrants to remain in Mexico while going through the legal process to enter the US, narrowed ICE's criteria for arrests and deportations, and stopped the building of Trump's border wall. 

The news was revealed by outgoing southern border coordinator Roberta Jacobson on Saturday.  On Friday, it was revealed she is resigning after a month in the job

The news was revealed by outgoing southern border coordinator Roberta Jacobson on Saturday.  On Friday, it was revealed she is resigning after a month in the job 

Biden has lifted the Trump policy that forced migrants to remain in Mexico while going through the legal process to enter the US, narrowed ICE's criteria for arrests and deportations, and stopped the building of Trump's border wall

Biden has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the border crisis

Biden has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans for his handling of the border crisis 

Amid growing criticism, Biden last month tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead U.S. efforts with Mexico and Central America to address the number of migrants heading north

Amid growing criticism, Biden last month tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead U.S. efforts with Mexico and Central America to address the number of migrants heading north

Amid growing criticism, Biden last month tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to lead U.S. efforts with Mexico and Central America to address the number of migrants heading north.

She has been blasted for Republicans for failing to visit the border. She instead spent the Easter weekend with her family in her ritzy Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood.  

Biden has called for $4 billion in development aid to Central America over four years to address underlying causes of migration. On Friday, the White House requested $861 million from Congress for that effort in Biden's first annual budget proposal. That would be a sharp increase from the roughly $500 million in aid this year.

Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, criticized the idea of cash transfers.

'It´s insulting to the millions of Americans who are out of work or facing despair in our country,' he said in a statement Friday evening.

Biden has called for $4 billion in development aid to Central America over four years to address underlying causes of migration

Biden has called for $4 billion in development aid to Central America over four years to address underlying causes of migration

Central American families are seen waiting to be processed after arriving in Texas

Central American families are seen waiting to be processed after arriving in Texas 

Hundreds of young children were among those picked up by CBP agents in Texas on Friday night

Hundreds of young children were among those picked up by CBP agents in Texas on Friday night 

A spokesman for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which administers foreign aid, told Reuters in a statement that it is already using cash transfers in programs 'to help people meet their basic needs' in the wake of severe hurricanes in Central America in late 2020. USAID is considering expanding the efforts going forward, the spokesman said.

The United States in the past has used the USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives to fund work-for-cash programs in post-conflict nations such as Colombia. 

The news comes as several Republican politicians spoke out about allegations that migrant children were being sexually abused in both overcrowded processing facilities and on their perilous journey to the US.  

On Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott revealed that their were 'credible' reports of young female migrants being sexually abused inside a facility in San Antonio.  

 Meanwhile, Republican House Minority Whip Steve Scalise stated Friday that up to a third of unaccompanied migrant girls are sexually assaulted on their their journey to the US. 

Speaking last week, Biden refused to call the situation a crisis, despite human rights lawyers claiming migrant children were going hungry and showering only intermittently. Pictured: Children inside the Donna Migrant Facility in Texas

Speaking last week, Biden refused to call the situation a crisis, despite human rights lawyers claiming migrant children were going hungry and showering only intermittently. Pictured: Children inside the Donna Migrant Facility in Texas

A photograph taken from inside the overcrowded Donna border facility last week

A photograph taken from inside the overcrowded Donna border facility last week  


Late last month, the Biden Administration was criticized for refusing to let journalists into overcrowded migrant facilities to document the conditions. 

However, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz shared photos from inside the overcrowded Donna Migrant Facility, after he and 18 other Senators took a tour of the southern border. 

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma and others shared heartbreaking images from inside the facility. 

Lankford said that 'pods' designed to hold 80 children are packed with more than 700.

'I know why President Biden doesn't want the media to be here - because we do have an open border,' Lankford stated after his visit to the facility. 

'If you were an unaccompanied minor, you were sent over to the Donna facility, which we went over and visited. That facility is designed for 80 people in a pod, and they had 709 people... literally wall to wall in every one of the little plexiglass cells that they have, and people flooding out into the hallway,' Lankford said. 

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz shared photos from inside the overcrowded Donna Migrant Facility, after he and 18 other Senators took a tour of the southern border

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz shared photos from inside the overcrowded Donna Migrant Facility, after he and 18 other Senators took a tour of the southern border 

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