The White House Blew Off Border For Years. Biden Just Admitted It Was ‘Chaos’ All This Time


Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden said the border has “had chaos” for “a number of years” Wednesday after the White House downplayed its rhetoric about the rate of illegal immigration throughout his administration.

A reporter pressed Biden if he could expand on what he meant Tuesday when he said “it’s going to be chaotic for a while” at the southern border following the expiration of Title 42. The Trump-era COVID-19 policy is set to lift Thursday, and Department of Homeland Security officials have warned of a large surge of migrants coming to the border.

“Well, we’ve had chaos at the border for a number of years,” Biden responded.

“We have to fully fund the border security efforts, we have to fully fund – look, the purpose of what we’re doing now is making real immigration more streamlined, illegal immigration shorter-term and moving in a direction that people know that there’s a legal way to get here and not a legal way. That’s what’s underway now,” the president added.

The Biden administration has experienced record-breaking numbers of migrant encounters at the southern border. The number skyrocketed from over 450,000 encounters by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in 2020 to over 1.7 million in 2021 and over 2.3 million in 2022, according to government statistics. For fiscal year 2023, the number currently stands at over 1 million encounters.

Biden and other White House staff have brushed off concerns about the border for almost the entirety of his administration, being careful not to use the word “crisis.” (RELATED: Psaki Says The Last Time Biden Was At The Border Was Driving By It In 2008)

In March 2021, White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to call the situation at the border a “crisis.”

“Well, I would say I don’t think we need to meet your bar of what we need to call it,” she told reporters at the time, and instead referred to it as a “challenge.”

Biden used the word “crisis” in April 2021, causing the White House to walk back his remarks.

“No, there is no change in position. Children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships and other dire circumstances is not a crisis,” a White House official told CNN. (RELATED: White House Walks Back Biden’s Comment Calling Border Situation A ‘Crisis’)

Biden has visited the border one time as president. He previously argued he would not go while he was in Arizona in December “because there are more important things going on.”

At the time, the White House said Biden’s top priority was handling the economy.

“The President was clear that his top priority is investing in the American economy and in American communities, out-competing China, and bringing back American jobs from overseas. In fact, as Daily Caller reported multiple times recently, the economy is the top issue for most Americans. If anyone believes that shouldn’t be the President’s top priority too, they should say that out loud,” White House assistant press secretary Abdullah Hasan said.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who was appointed to lead the administration’s efforts on tackling the “root causes” of migration, did not make any public remarks about the issue for over seven months.

Biden said Harris was doing a “good job” with the border in February.