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President Joe Biden on Friday laid fresh blame for the border not-a-crisis (he insists) at the feet of his predecessor. Does he not realize that his nonstop lies on the issue undermine his credibility across the board?
In an NBC interview, Biden complained he inherited “one god-awful mess at the border” from President Donald Trump, one made worse by “the failure to have a real transition — cooperation from the last administration, like every other administration has done.”
Specifically, he claims, “We didn’t find out they had fired a whole lot of people, that they were understaffed considerably.” Huh? It’s near-impossible to fire a career federal employee, while political appointees always exit when the other party takes over the executive branch.
Anyway, Trump was adding to the Border Patrol and other enforcement branches his whole time in office.
The reality: Biden inherited a package of successful policies . . . that he immediately overturned. And Team Trump gave Team Biden a very public warning that doing so would bring chaos, so the core “transition” problem is on you, Joe.
“If the current policies in place are revoked as critics have promised they would do . . . the 2,300 [migrant encounters] a day will become a full-blown crisis overnight as we stand by and watch the numbers go even higher, making last year’s crisis pale in comparison,” Mark Morgan, then the acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner, said in December. Plenty of others (including these pages) said much the same.
Biden ignored the advice — and we’re now seeing 6,000 encounters a day.
On his very first day in office, the new prez ordered a halt to new border-wall construction, stronger protections for Dreamers (kids who entered illegally) and a moratorium on deportations. He also vowed to support a law giving a pathway to citizenship to all illegal immigrants.
Soon after, he ended Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy that kept migrants there as they awaited immigration verdicts and quit applying the public-health restriction (keeping migrants out for the duration of the pandemic) to unaccompanied children and some families.
Those reversals, and his welcoming tone, sent the message that America’s border was now open. As Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said more than once, it created “expectations” that “caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so.”
The result? The surge of migrants — more than 100,000 encounters in February and more than 172,000 in March — is at a 20-year high, while more unaccompanied minors than ever are in federal custody. Trump’s “kids in cages” became “children in emergency facilities” — housed in poor conditions not meant for minors and often held longer than the 72-hour limit set by law.
“We’ve now got control,” Biden claimed to NBC. Bull: The numbers keep climbing with no sign of a slowdown. And over 22,000 children remain in the care of Health and Human Services, which takes over when they leave immigration custody.
Biden’s pathetic blame game isn’t fooling anyone. A recent poll found that only 15 percent believe Biden’s policies have played no role in the surge that followed his White House win. And three times as many people think border security is worse under Biden than it was under Trump.
It’s long past time for Biden to stop offering lame excuses instead of action and actually fix the “god-awful mess” he created. The worse it gets, the more the public will suspect he’s lying about every other “challenge” facing the nation.