Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump goes after Cassidy after senator says he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Hillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — Americans blame politicians, social media for spread of misinformation: poll MORE (R-La.) on Sunday blamed President BidenJoe BidenWhite House: Window for finalizing sweeping budget package 'closing' Jayapal says tuition-free community college 'probably won't' be in spending plan Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt MORE for a surge of migrants, including unaccompanied children, at the southern border.
Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Cassidy argued that the Biden administration signaled to migrants that the border was open, despite comments from top officials claiming otherwise.
Asked by host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace on Colin Powell: He was 'very protective' of his reputation Liz Cheney is the Margaret Chase Smith of our time Sunday shows - Buttigieg warns supply chain issues could stretch to next year MORE how much blame Biden deserves for the recent surge in apprehensions and border crossings, Cassidy responded, "Empirically, it's entirely."
"When people think they can get in, they begin sending their unaccompanied child across Mexico, where she may be kidnapped and trafficked," Cassidy said, adding that immigration officials were telling migrants in Spanish that the border was "open."
"There can be no equivocations when it comes to someone who is thinking of joining a caravan [bound for the U.S.]," he added.
The U.S. saw a 61 percent spike in the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border in February compared with a month earlier. A CNN investigation found that thousands of young children are being held in temporary shelters long after they were legally required to be transported to permanent settings while their cases are resolved.
"We continue to struggle with the number of individuals in our custody, especially given the pandemic," a top Customs and Border Protection official said this month.
Democrats in Congress are discussing an immigration package that some have said will attempt to address long-standing conditions across Central America blamed for driving migration from those areas.
Republicans, meanwhile, have hammered Biden on the issue and argued that his ending of policies such as former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE's "Remain in Mexico" program, which required immigrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases were resolved, has driven the surge.