Migrants considering traveling to the United States and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border shouldn’t come, and should instead remain in their communities, President Joe Biden said during an interview with ABC News on Tuesday.
When host George Stephanopoulos asked the president, “Do you have to say quite clearly, ‘Don’t come’?” Biden responded, “Yes, I can say quite clearly: Don’t come over. Don’t leave your town or city or community.”
The number of illegal immigrants encountered by border patrol agents has surged since Biden took office, with more than 100,000 apprehended in February alone.
As of Sunday, over 4,000 unaccompanied children were being housed in Border Patrol facilities, with at least 3,000 remaining in CBP custody past the three-day legal limit, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
More than 560 children were also taken into custody Monday, which is nearly twice the recent average, an official said.
Stephanopoulos asked Biden if the administration made a mistake “not to anticipate this surge,” to which Biden responded by pointing to surges that occurred under former President Donald Trump in 2019 and 2020.
“This one might be worse,” Stephanopoulos added.
“Well, it could be,” Biden responded. “I heard the other day that they’re coming because they know I’m a nice guy. Here’s the deal. They’re not.”
The Biden administration and Democrats have repeatedly refused to call the situation at the border a “crisis”. Earlier this week, the administration send FEMA to assist with the migrant surge, and Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the number of immigrants attempting to cross the border illegally will likely reach the highest rate in 20 years.
On Monday, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin became the first prominent Democrat to break party lines and refer to the situation as a crisis.
“Whatever message was sent – it was sure interpreted the wrong way,” Machin said on CNN while discussing the migrant surge.
“It’s a crisis,” he added. “Oh, it’s a crisis.”
On Tuesday, former President Trump slammed President Biden’s border policies and said they’re “destroying our country” during a Fox News interview.
“It is a crisis like we’ve rarely had. It’s going to get much, much worse,” Trump told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo.
“We did a lot of things, and all of that is now eroded,” Trump continued, condemning Biden for rolling back the Trump administration’s border security efforts. “They are coming in from the Middle East, they’re coming in from everywhere. They’re going to destroy our country if they don’t do something about it.”