Democratic Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar avoided answering a question Sunday on whether she thought the Biden administration is helping to create the border crisis by “encouraging” migrants to come to the U.S.
While appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Escobar was asked by host Jake Tapper about the administration’s “messaging” to migrants, and the claim from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that Biden is “the migrant president.” (RELATED: ‘The Border Is Not Open!’: Juan Williams Gets Heated Defending Biden’s Approach To Migrant Crisis)
“The president of Mexico, López Obrador, said that they see Biden as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States,” Tapper began. “Is there not a degree to which, whatever messages have been sent from the Biden administration, it is encouraging what is happening and is encouraging these kids to come, creating this tragedy?”
Escobar avoided answering the question directly and instead said “that kind of focus … obscures the bigger picture” because “the flow of humanity ebbs and flows.” She then stated that in Apr. 2020 “under the harshest conditions” of a Trump administration and the coronavirus pandemic, “we still saw people arriving at our front door.”
Tapper interrupted, saying that he was just quoting the president of Mexico.
“But even the president of Mexico, that comment, obscures what we have to do, which is what I believe President Biden finally will achieve, which is address the root causes of migration,” Escobar responded. “We’re going to be having this conversation year in and year out until we have leaders in this hemisphere who are willing to work together.”
“I hope President Lopez Obrador works with the presidents of the Northern Triangle, President Biden, we need to get Canada involved. This is a challenge that we’ve been seeing for several years. It’s not going away until we fix it,” she concluded.
The Biden administration has faced increasing pressure over the crisis at the southern border as the number of migrants detained while attempting to come to the U.S. has continued rising. Earlier in March, the U.S. reached a record high number of migrant children in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and over 100,000 migrants were encountered in the month of February.
On Saturday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to support efforts to help accompanied minors at the border.