Biden denies rise in migrants is because of him

President Joe Biden has pushed back against the narrative that his administration was effectively to blame for an uptick in migrant crossings along the US-Mexico border following his electoral victory.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday during his first press conference since assuming the Oval Office, the president noted border crossings have regularly risen for years during the winter months, when migrants are most likely to survive the arduous journey to the southern border. 

“I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m the nice guy, that’s the reason it’s happening, that I’m a decent man, or however it’s phrased. That’s why they’re coming, Biden’s a good guy,” Mr Biden said. “I’d like to think [it’s because] I’m a nice guy, but it’s not.”

The president pointed to domestic issues and international crises as the reasons for annual migration from Latin America to the US, rather than the transition of power between him and his predecessor, former president Donald Trump, who critics said used deterrent strategies throughout the region to prevent illegal crossings, including the controversial zero tolerance policy, which began the systematic separation of families along the border. 

“It’s because of earthquakes, floods, it’s because of a lack of food,” Mr Biden later continued. “It’s because of gang violence.”

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