President Biden blamed the illegal immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border in part on former President Trump’s policies.
Trump “dismantled all the elements that exist to deal with what had been a problem, and has been continuing to be a problem for a long time,” Biden alleged. “What we’re doing now is attempting to rebuild the system that can accommodate what is happening today.”
Biden added, “He in fact shut down the number of beds available, he did not fund HHS…to get the children out of the Border Patrol facilities.”
ABC News reporter Cecelia Vega pointed out to Biden that one mother she spoke with said she sent her nine-year-old son to the border by himself because she believed Biden wouldn’t deport him.
As of Wednesday there were over 11,500 unaccompanied migrant children in HHS custody with almost 5,000 in Border Patrol facilities, according to the latest data from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also blamed Trump administration policies for the surge in migrants, which he predicted would reach a 20-year high. Mayorkas said at the time that the Trump administration “completely dismantled the asylum system,” and “cut foreign aid funding to the Northern Triangle” countries, points that Biden echoed at his Thursday press conference.
Republicans have blamed Biden for the crisis, citing his removal of Trump-era actions such as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
Biden “should talk to the border agents, and let them know that this is beyond a crisis,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) said at a press conference earlier this month. “He can continue to deny it, but the only way to solve it is to first, admit what he has done.”