President Joe Biden is facing widespread criticism and blame for his immigration policies amid a worsening crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border.
One former border official who served in the Obama and Trump administrations is speaking out against the current president’s explanation of the ongoing surge of immigration.
“Don’t tell me that our borders are closed”
In a statement to reporters on Tuesday, Mark Morgan insisted that the influx is not “normal” and does not happen every year, as Biden suggested during his first solo press conference earlier this month.
The former Border Patrol chief said that Biden’s reversal of several key border policies implemented by former President Donald Trump has exacerbated the situation. About 150,000 migrants will have crossed the border during March, he said, compared to just 35,000 during the same month last year.
By the end of the year, Border Patrol is on track to report 1.4 million undocumented immigrants crossing the border. That total would be more than any year since 2000 when 1.6 million migrants were arrested at the border.
In response to the sharp uptick, Morgan claimed the Biden White House is attempting to hide the extent of the “mayhem” it has caused. Not all migrants are being allowed into the country due to COVID-19 protocols, but he noted that that about 45,000 have already been released into the interior U.S. so far this year.
“Don’t tell me that our borders are closed,” he said.
“This isn’t incompetence”
Morgan, who is now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, was joined at the recent press conference by Tom Homan, who led U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Trump and is now affiliated with the Immigration Reform Law Institute.
According to Homan, it was “by design” that so many migrants are streaming to the border, describing it as disingenuous to say that they were all seeking asylum.
“This isn’t incompetence,” he argued. “This isn’t [that] they don’t know what they’re doing.”
With only about 10% of migrants victorious in asylum claims, many of the rest simply disappear somewhere in the country and fail to show up for court hearings, Homan said.
During a recent appearance on Fox News, he criticized U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who has railed against the use of the word “surge” in describing the border situation. Homan declared that “she needs to come down and talk to the men and women who put the uniform on every day and stand in that box.”