Roberta Jacobson Quits: Kamala Harris Behind Resignation of Biden's Border Czar?

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As it now stands, President Joe Biden's Department of Health and Human Services is caring for more than 16,000 illegal minors who are divvied up between emergency and permanent shelters around the U.S. Each of the detained children and teenagers in permanent facilities cost the administration approximately $300 per day to house, clothe, feed, and educate.

Vice President Kamala Harris will take over diplomatic efforts with those Central American nations.

The US Customs and Border Protection said it had 172,331 "encounters" in March, almost 70 percent rise over February and a five-fold increase over the same month in 2020.

As the border crisis has become what some politicians have described as a humanitarian catastrophe - due to massive overcrowding and alleged abuse at detention facilities - here are four things you need to know about the issue, including the Biden administration's plans to restart construction on parts of the border wall and reports that terrorists have used the crisis as an opportunity to enter the country.

In a story published by Bloomberg Friday, Jacobson said that the Biden administration "plans to approach US companies about increasing investment in Mexico and Central America to try to reduce migration".

The Biden administration's border czar, Roberta Jacobson, who will step down at the end of the month, told Reuters the cash transfer program could be done by giving the payments to worldwide and local NGOs who would then funnel the money to Central Americans.

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"The one thing I can promise you is the US government isn't going to be handing out money or checks to people", she added.

On Friday, the White House requested US$861 million from Congress for that effort in Biden's first annual budget proposal.

However, an official with knowledge of the plan told Reuters "the options for cash transfers would be to channel funds to individuals through global or local non-governmental organizations that would vet them". That would be a sharp increase from the roughly US$500 million in aid this year.

A spokesman for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which administers foreign aid, told Reuters in a statement that it is already using cash transfers in programmes "to help people meet their basic needs" in the wake of severe hurricanes in Central America in late 2020.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement that Jacobson had planned to stay only for the administration's first 100 days. Such programmes can include labour-intensive rural road-building projects. "I leave optimistically. The policy direction is so clearly right for our country", she told the NYT.

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