Former President Donald Trump unloaded on his successor Sunday, directly responding to President Joe Biden's administration continually blaming Trump for the growing border crisis.
What is the background?
Biden officials have made a habit of blaming incompetence of the Trump administration for the intensifying migrant crisis.
"As we were coming into the administration, we knew we were inheriting an absolute mess from the previous administration — that there were aspects of our legal immigration system that had been gutted and a department that lacked the personnel to administer our laws," Julie Chavez Rodriguez, director of the White House's office of intergovernmental affairs, recently told CNN.
Another Biden official told CNN, "When we came into office, like, it was a disaster. I mean, really. The staffing wasn't in place, the structures weren't in place."
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also blamed Trump over the weekend. Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," he said:
What we are seeing is the result of President Trump's dismantlement of the safe and orderly immigration processes that were built over many, many years by presidents of both parties. That's what we are seeing, and that's why it's taking time for us to execute our plans to administer the humanitarian claims of vulnerable children. That's what this is about.
What did Trump say?
In a statement released late Sunday, Trump rebuked claims that his administration is to blame for the crisis.
"We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history. All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot," Trump began.
"Instead, in the span of a just few weeks, the Biden Administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster," he continued. "They are in way over their heads and taking on water fast."
Trump also accused Biden officials, specifically Mayorkas, of engaging in a "huge cover-up" of the crisis. Trump referred to the unofficial "gag order" placed on Border Patrol agents preventing them from disclosing the truth about the crisis. Mayorkas has denied such an order exists.
"The Mayorkas Gag Order on our Nation's heroic border agents and ICE officers should be the subject of an immediate congressional investigation. But it's clear they are engaged in a huge cover-up to hide just how bad things truly are," Trump said. "The only way to end the Biden Border Crisis is for them to admit their total failure and adopt the profoundly effective, proven Trump policies."
Trump went on to say, "This Administration's reckless policies are enabling and encouraging crimes against humanity. Our Country is being destroyed!"
INBOX: Statement from President Donald J. Trump https://t.co/9YWDMd42N1— Jenna Ellis (@Jenna Ellis) 1616365803.0
What has Biden done?
Despite the Biden administration's blame-shifting, Biden not only advertised wholesale changes on immigration policy during his campaign, but has made good on those promises.
In fact, Biden has reversed two of Trump's most deterrent immigration policies:
- The "Remain in Mexico" policy, which forced asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while U.S. immigration courts processed their asylum claims. Under former President Barack Obama, migrants were released after being given a "notice to appear" in court, resulting in many migrants slipping into the shadows.
- The "Safe Third County" policy, which forced migrants to apply for refuge in Guatemala, El Salvador, or Honduras before applying for asylum in the U.S.
The conceivable result of Biden's actions is that government officials now believe the highest number of migrants will travel to the U.S. in over 20 years.
One migrant who recently spoke with ABC anchor Martha Raddatz, in fact, said Biden's presidency was the motivating factor for now traveling to the U.S., something he admitted that he would not have done if Trump were still president.