President Joe Biden and high-ranking members of his administration have been reluctant to refer to an influx of undocumented migrants on the southern border as a “crisis.”
That appeared to change this week when the president acknowledged “a new surge,” though his statement came with a caveat. He claimed it is all his predecessor’s fault.
“It’s our responsibility”
During border-related remarks on Wednesday, Biden said that the increased flow of immigration began when former President Donald Trump was still in office.
“This new surge we are dealing with now started with the last administration, but it’s our responsibility to deal with it humanely,” he said, according to Fox News.
Biden’s statement comes after his administration has sent out conflicting messages for weeks, namely that there is no crisis but if there is then it is because of Trump-era border policies.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pushed the rhetoric to extremes by claiming that the border is actually “closed” even as thousands of migrant children remain housed in overcrowded facilities that the White House has refused to allow reporters to document.
“Every single solitary year”
Despite claiming that Trump’s stance on immigration was unnecessarily harsh, Biden nevertheless insisted that conditions in the home countries of undocumented migrants led to increased crossings in recent years.
“There was a serious spike in people heading to the southern border even in the midst of that,” the president said, according to Fox. “That was because there were serious natural disasters.”
Of course, Biden’s critics say that the worsening crisis along the U.S.–Mexico border is a product of his administration’s creation. Migrants donning T-shirts and flags with his name on them certainly mean something.
Nevertheless, the president doubled down on his position in his first solo press conference on Thursday, asserting that increased migration occurs “every single solitary year” and has nothing to do with how “nice” those migrants perceive him to be.
Biden cannot have it both ways, though. He has effectively repealed many of Trump’s strict policies with more lenient ones — and millions of Americans are demanding that he accept responsibility for the consequences of his actions.