Biden Transition Officials Say Trump Officials Delayed Action on Child Migrant Surge

"They were sitting on their hands," said a Biden transition official

Carrizo Springs, TX- FEB 21: Text books and notebooks line tables inside a classroom at a Influx Care Facility (ICF) for unaccompanied children on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021 in Carrizo Springs, TX. Children will begin arriving Monday before being placed with a government approved sponsor. The facility has dorm like rooms with areas for eating, bathing, and even hair cuts and laundry.
Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In early December, the Biden transition team and career government officials began sounding an alarm on the need to increase shelter space for the large number of migrant children expected to soon be crossing the border, but the Trump administration didn't take action until just days before the inauguration, according to two Biden transition officials and a U.S. official with knowledge of the discussions.

"They were sitting on their hands," said one of the transition officials, who does not currently work for the Biden administration and spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It was incredibly frustrating."

The Biden transition team made its concerns about the lack of shelter space known to Trump officials both at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, laying out the need to open an influx shelter in Carrizo Springs, Texas, and to issue what's known as a "request for assistance" that would start the process of surveying new sites for expanded shelters, according to the transition officials.

For more on this story, go to NBC News.

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