Immigrants are flocking to the U.S. southern border – saying President Biden “promised” them they would be allowed to enter the country.
“Biden promised us that everything was going to change,” Gladys Oneida Pérez Cruz, a woman who traveled to the border with her son, said to The New York Times. “He hasn’t done it yet, but he is going to be a good president for migrants.”
The Times added that another woman at the border said, “Biden promised us!”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers say that some 100,000 foreigners came to the border in February alone, and after weeks of claiming all is well, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Saturday acknowledged that “record numbers” of foreigners are overwhelming U.S. agencies, prompting the department to call in help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“The federal government is responding to the arrival of record numbers of individuals, including unaccompanied children, at the southwest border. Since April 2020, the number of encounters at the border has been rising due to ongoing violence, natural disasters, food insecurity, and poverty in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America,” the DHS said.
“The federal government is working around the clock to move unaccompanied children from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) care and to place them with a family member or sponsor until their immigration case is adjudicated. The risks posed by the spread of COVID-19 have made this mission all the more difficult.”
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton last week dubbed the situation the “Biden border crisis” and said some foreigners wore shirts saying “Biden, let us in.”
“Joe Biden and the Democrats … they don’t believe in borders. They don’t, therefore, think it is a crisis. They think this is a feature not a bug of their policy. They’ve literally turned detention centers — that are designed to turn people away at our borders — into reception centers. That’s what they’re gonna’ call them. What signal is that going to send? We’ve seen migrants wearing their shirts that say, ‘Biden, let us in,’” Cotton said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday referred to the influx of migrants at the southern border as a “big problem” and blamed the Trump administration for what she called an “unworkable system,” following weeks of the Biden administration refusing to call it a “crisis.”
“We recognize this is a big problem,” Psaki said during a briefing with reporters. “The last administration left us a dismantled and unworkable system and, like any other problem, we are going to do all we can to solve it.”
When asked about messaging aimed at the incoming migrants Psaki responded, “It’s a complicated problem, no doubt about it, we are sending the message clearly in the region, now is not the time to come, but also we want to ensure that people are treated with humanity.”
While numbers have been increasing at the border for months, particularly of unaccompanied children (UACs) and family units, they have spiked since Biden took office.
The number of UACs in custody has tripled in recent weeks, while there were more than 100,000 migrant encounters in February.
Critics have blamed the dramatic liberalizing of immigration policy and rollback of Trump-era border protections for encouraging the flow and removing the tools that allow migrants to be kept out or returned to their home countries.