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Tipsheet

What Steps Has Biden Taken to Reduce Illegal Immigration?

Townhall Media

In remarks from the White House on Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre spoke on the end of Title 42, which was expected to occur this week. Title 42 is a public health service act that allows the United States to restrict immigration during health emergencies, in this case, COVID-19. The Trump administration utilized Title 42 to send immigrants at the southern border back to Mexico. Title 42 remained in place throughout the Biden administration, even as illegal immigration numbers skyrocketed. However, its expiration date was slated for Wednesday until the Supreme Court intervened. Illegal immigration numbers were expected to rise to levels unseen along with getting rid of the policy.

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In Monday's White House press briefing, Jean-Pierre repeatedly said that if congressional Republicans are "serious" about tackling immigration, they need to fork over 3.5 billion dollars to provide funding for additional border patrol agents, accelerate processing times for asylum seekers, upgrade surveillance technology, increase support in border communities, and add air and ground transportation capabilities for immigration enforcement and processing.

And, Jean-Pierre claimed that President Biden and his administration have been working toward reducing illegal immigration and focusing on solutions for the border crisis. But, several examples throughout Biden’s administration show otherwise.

CLAIM: Jean-Pierre claimed President Joe Biden has taken steps to reduce illegal immigration ahead of the end of Title 42. She also said congressional Republicans need to allocate billions to continue the Biden administration’s efforts to curb illegal immigration. When reporters pressed Jean-Pierre on specifics of what the administration has done to solve illegal immigration, Jean-Pierre referenced a graph listing what the proposed $3.5 billion would be spent on.

FACTS: President Biden and his border czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, have not visited the U.S.-Mexico border since taking office. In 2021, Harris visited an airport in El Paso, a border town, but did not make her way to the actual international border, as Katie noted. The excursion was only a stopover trip on her way to California. Throughout his multi-decade career as a politician, Biden has never visited.

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When asked about Harris’ role on the border on Monday, Jean-Pierre was unable to give an answer.

On Sunday, White House adviser and former mayor of Atlanta Keisha Lance Bottoms said in an interview that the “disruptiveness” of presidential travel is Biden’s reason for not visiting the border. 

“When the President travels, it is not like you or I jumping on an airplane and getting off and going to our destination. Everything comes to a halt. So all of these things are in consideration for the President. Is that the best use of resources, all of the resources that will be diverted on the ground when the President makes a visit?” Bottoms claimed.

“I can't speak to why he has or has not gone, I'm just speaking to the fact that it’s a bit more disruptive for the President of the United States to travel” than everyday Americans, Bottoms continued as the host pointed out that Biden recently went to Arizona and did not visit the border.

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On Monday, Jean-Pierre seemingly reiterated this, saying that the president's current focus is to come up with “solutions” for the border without actually going to the border to see the devastation of it firsthand.

Speaking of Arizona, the Biden administration sued the border state this month for taking matters into their own hands and building a border wall out of shipping containers, which Townhall covered.

According to CBS, the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Arizona, alleges that the shipping containers trespass federal lands that the state is not authorized to use. Federal officials argued that the makeshift wall threatens public safety and hinders law enforcement from carrying out their duties. What about the threat to public safety that unchecked illegal immigration poses to the residents living along the border? Some families in Yuma, Arizona, have hired their private security because of the threat the influx of illegal immigrants poses to their safety.

Despite this, Jean-Pierre claimed that removing Title 42 would not mean the border is “open.” Though, there were estimates of tens of thousands of migrants waiting for the removal of the policy to enter the United States. Jean-Pierre claimed any information being spread that the border would be "open" was “misinformation" spread by smugglers.

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According to Pew Research, Biden has been laser-focused on lifting Trump-era restrictions on immigration, specifically to boost refugee admissions, preserve deportation relief for illegals, and not enforcing the “public charge” rule that denies green cards to immigrants who use government benefits like Medicaid. The Biden administration has also proposed to increase annual “diversity visas” to 80,000 from about 50,000, which President Trump was against.

The Heritage Foundation noted that under the previous administration, the application was denied if an illegal alien applied for asylum in the United States while bypassing a safe third country they’d traveled through. Under Biden, this is not the case: 

Under the previous administration, if an illegal alien applied for asylum at our southern border but had not sought protection in a safe third country through which he had traveled, cooperative agreements were in place with the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to return that individual to one of those countries to seek asylum protection there.

The Biden administration ended these commonsense measures. As a result, the number of asylum applications made annually to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services jumped from almost 43,000 at the end of the third quarter in fiscal year 2021 to nearly 119,000 by the end of the third quarter in fiscal year 2022. Changes to the system ordered by the Administration make it easy to file bogus asylum claims and then disappear into the interior. On average, immigration judges have granted asylum in only 15% of the cases presented during the Biden administration, demonstrating the degree to which this important benefit is being abused.
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And other loopholes in the immigration system have allowed millions of illegal immigrants, including many unaccompanied children, to come to the U.S. and be given taxpayer-funded benefits, in some cases abortions. This month, DHS released thousands of illegal immigrants into the country's interior without notice to appear in court, which Katie covered.

This month, Townhall also reported that several emails obtained by The Heritage Foundation's Oversight Project showed the Department of Homeland Security scheduling meetings with left-wing activist groups that pushed the Border Patrol whip hoax in 2021.

RATING: Jean-Pierre’s claims that the Biden administration has made strides to rectify the issue of illegal immigration are FALSE. Throughout his presidency, illegal immigration has worsened continuously. The Supreme Court’s decision to keep Title 42 in place will allow Border Patrol to send migrants back to Mexico due to COVID-19. Once Title 42 is eventually lifted, an anticipated 18,000 migrants per day are expected to try entering the U.S.

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