Former President Donald Trump on Friday accused President Biden of inspiring a “tsunami” of migration at the US-Mexico border by undoing his policies on asylum and illegal immigration.
Trump fired off a 428-word emailed attack pinning responsibility on Biden for the border surge that’s already required the opening of two overflow facilities for unaccompanied minors.
“Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden,” Trump wrote.
“A mass incursion into the country by people who should not be here is happening on an hourly basis, getting worse by the minute. Many have criminal records, and many others have and are spreading covid. Interior enforcement has been shut down—criminals that were once promptly removed by our Administration are now being released back onto the street to commit heinous and violent crimes,” Trump said.
“The spiraling tsunami at the border is overwhelming local communities, depleting budgets, crowding hospitals, and taking jobs from legal American workers. When I left office, we had achieved the most secure border in our country’s history. Under Biden, it will soon be worse, more dangerous, and more out of control than ever before. He has violated his oath of office to uphold our Constitution and enforce our laws.”
Biden halted construction of Trump’s Mexico border wall and last month began to end the “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which about 71,000 Central American asylum applicants were awaiting rulings in Mexico. Asylum seekers who are allowed to await rulings inside the US can in some circumstances get work permits while they wait.
In January, which featured the final weeks of Trump’s term and the start of Biden’s, border agents detained nearly 78,000 people, up from 36,679 in January 2020. About 2,200 unaccompanied children crossed the border each week in February.
“I had a great relationship with Mexico, and its wonderful president, but all of that has been dissipated by the gross incompetence and radicalism of the people currently in charge. The Remain in Mexico Policy was incredible, but immediately abandoned by Biden, probably because it worked so well,” Trump said.
“Likewise, our Safe Third Agreements in Central America were extraordinarily successful, so Biden foolishly ditched them too. We stopped payment of the hundreds of millions of dollars paid to them and then developed an excellent relationship that made our country and their countries more secure.”
Trump said the Biden administration has “given the smugglers and traffickers effective control of our border” and predicted that the border crisis would get worse.
“There has never been a time on our southern border like what is happening now but more importantly, what is about to happen,” Trump said.
“Now that Biden has implemented nationwide Catch-and-Release, illegal immigrants from every corner of the Earth will descend upon our border and never be returned. You can never have a secure border unless people who cross illegally are promptly removed.”
In addition to relaxing Trump-era rules, Biden issued an order affirming the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives work permits and protection from deportation to people brought illegally to the US as minors, and proposed legislation that would create a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US.
Republicans say that the possibility of US citizenship is serving as a “pull” factor for more migration.
House Democrats plan votes this month on bills that would offer legal status to farm workers who currently lack government permission to work and to allow a path to citizenship to people brought illegally to the US as minors.
Trump contended in his statement that “ICE officers are desperate to remove these convicted criminals, but Biden won’t let them” and that “[o]ur great Border Patrol and ICE agents have been disrespected, demeaned, and mocked by the Biden Administration.”
Trump concluded: “The Biden Administration must act immediately to end the border nightmare that they have unleashed onto our Nation. Keep illegal immigration, crime, and the China Virus out of our country!”