President Biden may have quietly admitted Wednesday evening what he and the White House have refused to say publicly about the worsening situation at the U.S.-Mexico border — during a tarmac conversation with reporters at the Westchester County Airport, the president confessed there has been “chaos at the border for a number of years.”
Since taking office, Biden has refused to use funding already allocated to reinforce the border, sued Arizona to remove shipping containers that helped fill gaps in the U.S. Border Patrol Yuma Sector, ceased former President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, and ultimately failed to extend Title 42. The “Remain in Mexico” policy has since been reinstated.
When asked about the more than 10,000 migrants that are being detained at the border daily, the upcoming expiration of Title 42 — which is expected to cause additional migrants to seek entry into the U.S. — and Mexico’s role in the ongoing crisis, Biden said he spent an hour with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador the day before and they were “in agreement” on the issue.
When asked if he would consider sending additional U.S. troops to the border, the president simply answered, “Yes.”
House Republicans, however, have placed the blame entirely on Biden, citing his “message throughout the world that America’s border is open” and his halting of construction of the wall, reinstating catch and release, terminating the Remain in Mexico policy, and the Northern Triangle agreements.
They have put forward the Secure the Border Act, which would renew efforts to build a border wall, add more border patrol agents and provide them more financial incentives for them to do their job, and end “catch and release” policies.
More than a dozen immigration groups have called the Secure the Border Act a “forceful and serious” attempt to counter mass migration at the border, but Biden has threatened to veto it.
Once Title 42 expires, border officials have said they could see a surge of up to 14,000 encounters a day, with the more than 10,000 migrants apprehended on both Monday and Tuesday already setting single–day records.
The president has asked for more money for the Border Patrol, but the divided Congress has not yet acted on his request. He remarked that what he wants to do is “have it work and function in the way it‘s designed to work. And that requires us having more immigration officers, more asylum judges, a whole range of things [like] more personnel. And I‘m trying to do as much of that as I can.”
It remains to be seen if the president will follow through on his promise to send additional troops to the border, or if the Secure the Border Act will be passed into law, but one thing is certain — the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is growing increasingly chaotic, and the Biden administration has yet to resolve it.