“I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m the nice guy. … The truth of the matter is: Nothing has changed.” — President Joe Biden, March 25.
The real truth of the matter is that nothing Biden has said about the crisis gripping the southern border is true, because he refuses to admit that he, and only he, is to blame for it.
At that same press conference, for example, Biden claimed that the surge of illegals crossing from Mexico at the start of 2021 “happens every single, solitary year: There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. That happens every year.”
He went on to say “the reason they’re coming is that it’s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert, number one. Number two, they’re coming because of the circumstances in-country – in-country.”
None of that is true. As we’ve noted in this space earlier, the flood of illegals has only increased in months since Biden made that claim, right through a sweltering summer and despite “the heat of the desert.”
The idea that this surge happens “every year” is also easily debunked. For proof, simply compare the illegal immigration numbers under Biden to those during President Donald Trump’s first year in office.
The chart above shows the monthly Border Patrol “encounters” along the southwest border in fiscal years of 2017 and 2021. The government’s fiscal year starts every Oct. 1. So, in Trump’s case, what matters is what happens after January. Ditto Biden.
Keep in mind that Central America was just as violent in 2017 as it is now. It was just as prone to natural disasters. It was just as poor. The circumstances “in-country,” in other words, weren’t meaningfully different.
What was different was what Biden and Trump had been saying on the campaign trail when they were running for president, and the policies they implemented once they took office.
In 2016, Trump was talking about building a border wall. He was attacking the lax border controls that let millions of illegal immigrants into the country. He was talking about mass deportation. For those living in Central America who were thinking about making the trek up north, the message was clear: you will likely get sent back, so don’t bother.
When Biden was running for president in 2020, his message could not have been more different. He promised illegals free health care. He promised to end deportations during his first 100 days. He promised that illegals arrested by local police would not be turned over to immigration officials. He promised amnesty for illegals who make it across the border.
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas once helpfully gathered up clips showing Biden making each of those promises and posted them on Twitter.
So, do words matter? Do you think that people in Central America heard what Trump was saying then, and what Biden is saying now? Do think that many acted on what they heard?
See for yourself.
The next time anyone tries to tell you that “this happens every year,” break out this chart, and ask them to explain why illegal crossings fell in 2017 and exploded in 2021, and then ask why Biden never gets called out by the mainstream press for his flagrant border lies.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board