The migrant crisis at the southern border will be the top focus for a bipartisan group of 175 mayors who are meeting Friday with President Biden at the White House, reports USA Today. Biden is facing growing pressure from both Republicans and Democrats over the surge in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants have been crossing the border in record numbers in recent months, many escaping repression, crime and poverty in their home countries. Mayors gathered in Washington, D.C., this week for U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. New York City Mayor Eric Adams told the conference that the migrant surge is "a national problem" that requires a 50-state strategy. Biden was expected to discuss the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package signed in 2021. Mayors are looking to receive help on several issues, primarily the immigration crisis. Cities say a national response is needed, including humanitarian assistance for migrants because many communities are overwhelmed.
Biden's meeting with the mayors comes just two weeks after he traveled to the border for the first time as president to assess the extent of the crisis. Biden visited El Paso, where migrants were sleeping on the streets and he heard cries for help in addressing he problem. Biden has faced criticism from both Republicans and Democrats because he hasn't done enough to address the problem. The new Republican majority in the House has launched an investigation into the Biden administration's handling of the crisis and is planning a hearing early next month. The new Republican majority in the House is demanding at least $130 billion in federal spending cuts, setting the stage for a clash with the Biden administration and the Democratic-controlled Senate. Mayors fear that, as lawmakers look for programs to cut, Congress may try to take back the unspent portion of the $350 billion awarded to cities and states through the American Rescue Plan.