President Joe Biden is finally acknowledging the crisis at the border. During an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, which is set to air on Wednesday, Biden told migrants not to flock to the United States.
"A lot of the migrants are coming in because you're saying you promised to make things better. It seems to be getting worse by the day. Was it a mistake to not anticipate this surge?" Stephanopoulos asked.
Biden pointed to the "surge" that took place in 2019 when the Central American caravans flocked to the southern border. Stephanopoulos pointed out that the current crisis at the border "could be worse."
"Here's the deal: we're sending back people – first of all, the idea that Joe Biden said, 'Come' because I heard the other day that they're coming because, you know, I'm a nice guy –" the president said.
"They're saying this," the host interjected.
"Yeah, well, here's the deal, they're not," Biden replied.
"Do you have to say quite clearly, 'don't come?'" Stephanopoulos asked.
"Yes. I can say quite clearly, 'Don't come over. We're in the process of getting set up,'" Biden said. "Don't leave your town or city or community."
EXCLUSIVE: @GStephanopoulos presses Pres. Biden on the border crisis.— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) March 16, 2021
"Do you have to say quite clearly, 'Don't come'?
Biden: "Yes, I can say quite clearly: Don't come over...Don’t leave your town or city or community." https://t.co/fRtObTXY0c pic.twitter.com/m802Y3tVjg
Remember: Border Patrol holding facilities for unaccompanied minors had to roll back COVID restrictions because of the overwhelming number of people heading to the southern border. The facilities went from 50 percent capacity to 100 percent capacity overnight. Fast forward a week later and those same facilities’ capacity has soared to more than 700 percent. The Department of Homeland Security is asking non-law enforcement employees throughout the agency to “volunteer” so agents can be freed up for actual border protection duties. Now FEMA is being sent in to render aid over the next 90 days.
Central American caravans began making the trek to the United States because they knew they had to get to the border before Biden’s first 100 days were up. They have a limited timeframe to cash in on Biden’s policy shift.
"What I want for my people, I just want patience and pass to the U.S. because they have a new president," a Honduran national said in mid-January. "President Biden is going to help all of us. He's giving us 100 days to get to the U.S. and give us a paper so we can get a better life for our kids and our family."
Suddenly telling them to stay home after promising so much isn't going to work, Mr. President.