There is a surge of migrants in the Southwestern border of the US and Republicans are blaming President Joe Biden for causing the surge. However, has Biden told immigrants to surge the border? Here is a fact check.
In an interview with George Stephanopolous, Biden said that he had not sent any wrong message on immigration. He also refuted claims of children being held in cells and clearly said, "don't come" referring to migrants. "There was a surge the last two years in '19 and '20, there was a surge as well," he added.
Biden in 2021
When Stephanopoulos spoke about migrants saying that Biden had told them to come [cross borders], Biden replied: "But here's the deal. First of all, the idea that Joe Biden said 'come' is—I heard the other day that they're coming because they know I'm a nice guy, and I won't do what Trump did."
"Well, here's the deal: they're not. The adults are being sent back, number one. Number two, what do you do with an unaccompanied child that comes to the border? Do you repeat what Trump did? Take them from their mothers? Move them away? Hold them in cells, et cetera? We're not doing that," Biden said.
But contrary to Biden's assurance, US media reported that as of 21 March, US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents were holding more than 15,500 unaccompanied children in custody. Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that at least 5,000 children have been kept for over 72 hours, the legal limit after which they are meant to be transferred to the custody of health officials in the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). He compared these camps to jails or warehouses and said that this is no place for a child. Reports claim that Biden has placed a gag order on Border Patrol Agents and thus they can't speak to the press about the crisis.
Biden in 2019: The Fact
A video clipping of Biden speaking at a debate prior to general elections in 2019 clearly shows him say, 'Surge the borders.' "I would in fact make sure that there is immediately a surge to the border. They deserve to be heard. That's who we are. "We're a nation that says, 'You want to flee, and you're fleeing oppression, you should come,'" Biden had told during a debate moderated by Univision's Jorge Ramos in 2019.
If this is what Biden told in 2019, he has taken a U-turn in 2021. Speaking to ABC, Biden recently said: "I can say quite clearly don't come over." "So don't leave your town or city or community. We're gonna make sure we have facilities in those cities and towns run by department of — by DHS and also access with HHS, the Health and Human Services, to say you can apply for asylum from where you are right now," said Biden during an interview to George Stephanopolous last week.
Reports claim that January and February 2021 saw at least 100,000 people trying to cross the border. Many were seen sporting the t-shirt and flags with caption "Biden, please let us in." When ABC and Fox News interviewed these 'migrants' in the border they were heard saying, they were there because Biden was elected as the President. "We would not have tried to do so if Trump was still the President."
After coming to power, Biden is said to have taken some measures in this direction including halting the construction of the wall on the southern border to creating a task force aimed at reuniting migrant families separated under Trump. Reports state that Biden has proposed a bill to provide citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.