As criticism grows, Biden tells migrants not to come to U.S.

President Joe Biden urged migrants not to come to the United States on Tuesday, as criticism mounted over a surge in people arriving at the southern border with Mexico, including thousands of unaccompanied children.

“Yes I can say quite clearly don’t come over ... Don’t leave your town or city or community,” he said in an interview with ABC News, addressing the migrants.

Speaking hours after his head of homeland security defended the administration’s immigration policies, Mr. Biden also shrugged off claims that his dismantling of former President Donald Trump’s tough stance had encouraged the surge, pointing out that there had been similar surges in 2019 and 2020.

“The idea that Joe Biden said ‘come’ - I heard the other day that they’re coming because I’m a nice guy... Here’s the deal, they’re not,” he said.

On January 20, his first day in office, Mr. Biden scrapped several of Donald Trump's contentious immigration policies, including halting new construction of a border wall and proposing legislation to create a citizenship pathway for the nearly 11 million people living illegally in the U.S. Republican critics say Mr. Biden’s policies caused a sharp increase in migrants seeking to cross into the U.S. illegally.

Not new, says Mayorkas

The President spoke a day after top Republican congressman Kevin McCarthy visited the border in Texas with fellow Republican lawmakers and accused Mr. Biden of creating a “crisis”.

Mr. Biden’s chief of homeland security Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday also defended the administration's immigration policies.

Mr. Mayorkas acknowledged the United States was "on pace" to encounter more migrants at the border than at any time in two decades, but said such spikes were "not new," having also occurred in 2019, 2014 and earlier.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 4:05:30 AM |

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