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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

  • "I feel compelled to express great concern with the manner in which your administration is approaching this crisis, but with hope that we can work together to solve it," McCarthy wrote in the letter addressed to Biden.

What they're saying: The House minority leader criticizes Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for telling migrants earlier this week from the White House, "We are not saying don't come, we are saying don't come now."

  • "To be clear — there is never a 'right time' to enter the country illegally and violate the laws of the United States. Signaling otherwise is reckless and will make the situation worse," McCarthy writes, contrasting Mayorkas' words with those of the former DHS Secretary under Obama, Jeh Johnson, during the 2014 crisis.

The big picture: This comes as other congressional Republicans and some border Democrats are raising the alarm.

  • Ranking members of both the House Judiciary and Oversight committees sent letters this week with other Republican members demanding hearings about the border situation.

The latest: The White House confirmed Thursday evening that Biden has asked some of his top officials to visit the border "to provide a full briefing to him on the government response to the influx of unaccompanied minors."

  • Biden and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei agreed during a call Thursday evening for their teams "to meet in the coming weeks to develop an effective and humane plan of action to manage migration," according to the White House readout. Guatemala is one of the top countries of origin for people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • U.S. agencies charged with border enforcement and the care of migrant children have been moving to rapidly open overflow shelters to hold the rising number of migrants. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's family detentions center are also being revamped to more quickly release migrant families into the country.

Go deeper

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.