President Joe Biden rejected the notion that immigrants are surging across the southern border because he is a “nice guy,” during his first in-person press conference at the White House on Thursday.
Biden’s administration has sought to deny the existence of a crisis at the border even as it reopens Trump-era facilities to house minors crossing the border. Reporters repeatedly put Biden on the defensive on several aspects of his immigration policy throughout the press conference.
Critics have argued that his emphasis on rejecting the “cruelty” of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policy has sent a message that it is now safe to cross the border illegally (RELATED: President Joe Biden’s Immigration Reforms Could Prompt A Surge Of Migrants At The Southern Border, Expert Says)
“What is happening today, and I’d like to think it’s happening because I’m a nice guy, but it’s not–because it’s what happens every year,” Biden said. “If you take a look at the number of people who are coming, the vast majority, the overwhelming majority of people who are coming and crossing the border are being sent back.”
— Newsmax (@newsmax) March 25, 2021
A reporter challenged Biden’s denial of responsibility soon after, saying she had just returned from the border where she had spoken with some of the minors being detained. She said a 10-year-old boy had been sent by his mother specifically because she believed Biden would accept him. Biden responded by saying the mother must have been very desperate.
“I can’t guarantee we’re going to solve everything,” Biden says of the situation at the border. “But I guarantee we can make it better.”
— Joey Garrison (@joeygarrison) March 25, 2021
Biden went on to say he makes “no apologies” for removing Trump’s border policies almost immediately upon gaining office. He pointed to statistics showing that immigration surged this time of year under Trump as well, saying it happens “every single solitary year.”
The Biden administration is engaged in negotiations with Mexico to make the nation start accepting refugees, which it is not currently doing. He referenced his policies under President Barack Obama as well, saying sending aide to South American countries can also help alleviate surges at the border.
Biden tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to head up his administration’s handling of the border crisis Thursday. She said her goal is to stem the surge of “irregular migrants” by addressing “root causes” of illegal immigration.