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CNN: It looks like we have another border crisis on our hands

President Joe Biden was asked the other day if there was a crisis at the border. He said something like, ‘no, we’ll be able to handle it.’ Ted Cruz highlighted the clip earlier today.

This afternoon, CNN has an exclusive report based on CBP documents which indicates “a crisis taking shape” at the border.

The Customs and Border Protection documents dated Tuesday show a growing trend of unaccompanied children coming into US custody at levels beyond the Health and Human Services Department’s ability to house them, given limited shelter capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On average, over the last 21 days the US Border Patrol, part of Customs and Border Protection, arrested around 340 children who crossed the US-Mexico border alone, according to preliminary data outlined in the document. The average time in Border Patrol facilities, which are not designed to hold children, was 77 hours, longer than the 72 permitted under US law…

In Yuma, Arizona, there were more than 600 people — of all ages — in custody in a space designed for 104, according to the data. And in the Rio Grande Valley, more than 2,000 people were in custody in a space for 715. The numbers can fluctuate daily.

One anonymous former DHS official told CNN, “The rate at which people are coming across the borders is exceeding the levels we saw in 2019.”

In case you’ve forgotten, 2019 also began with Democrats denying there was a crisis at the border. In February, our holding facilities were already being overwhelmed but Democrats struggled to update their talking points for another month after that. By May the situation was so dire that even the NY Times called it a crisis. So here we go again in one of the least surprising slow-motion train wrecks in recent history.

“We’re not keeping up,” an HHS official told CNN this week, referring to the department’s capacity to care for unaccompanied migrant children. As of Tuesday, capacity was about 94% full.

You can get an idea of what the Biden administration is expecting from this Axios story yesterday:

A briefing scheduled for President Biden this afternoon outlines the need for 20,000 beds to shelter an expected crush of child migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios has learned…

HHS is expected to reach its shelter capacity later this month, according to the two sources.

So this is a crisis or at least will be fairly soon. But CNN points out the Biden administration is refusing to call it that, instead calling it a “challenge.” This reminds me of the time that AG Lynch asked FBI Director Comey to refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter.” Calling the situation a “challenge” doesn’t do anything except protect Democrats from bad PR. It’s still a crisis.

Here’s the report from CNN’s The Lead.