Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) on Sunday issued a stark prediction that the border crisis would grow more acute in the coming months, estimating that 1 million people would try to make their way into the United States by summer.
“It’s going to get worse. It’s going to get a lot worse, springtime, summer, more and more come over. The message is coming back that, ‘Hey, we got a new president, come on in, we’re open for business to the traffickers,’” McCaul said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I predict a million people trying to get into this country by the summertime,” McCaul said.
In recent days, the numbers of children and families caught trying to enter the United States illegally from Mexico has grown to magnitudes unseen since before the pandemic. Customs and Border Protection has noted a more than 100 percent month-over-month increase in February in two categories of illegal aliens—family units and unaccompanied minors.
President Joe Biden has faced criticism from Republicans for reversing some of the immigration policies of former President Donald Trump, which they argue has led to a surge of people seeking to cross the border illegally.
After taking office, Biden proposed a pathway to citizenship for millions of people in the United States unlawfully, and promised in an executive order to “create a humane asylum system.”
Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) told The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” last week that Biden’s rhetoric was fueling what he described as a humanitarian and national security crisis.
“Hundreds of countries are sending people over to the United States because of these promises,” Babin said.
“Come on up here, step one foot in, and you will be admitted,” Babin said, characterizing the thrust of the Biden administration’s messaging on immigration. “And eventually you will be on a path to citizenship and you’ll receive an education … you’ll get free health care, you will get even stimulus checks,” he added.
The Democratic mayor of a southern border town told the New York Post in an interview on Sunday that he’s incensed over the Biden administration’s handling of the immigration crisis in his backyard.
“You have a breach on national security levels that have never before been seen in modern history and you’re not even batting an eye about it, you’re not even calling it a ‘crisis,’ you’re calling it a ‘challenge,’” Mayor Bruno Lozano, a Democrat who represents Del Rio, Texas, told the outlet.
“It’s a slap in the face,” Lozano added.
Biden addressed the border surge as he returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat on Sunday, telling reporters “a lot more” could be done to stem the flow of people seeking to enter the United States illegally.
“We are in the process of doing it now, including making sure we reestablish what existed before—which is they can stay in place and make their case from their home countries,” he said.
While the Biden administration has insisted that would-be immigrants should still follow the legal process for entering the country and that the border has not, as some contend, been flung open, the recent surge of illegal immigration suggests that is how it’s being interpreted by many.
Edgar Benjamin Paz, a Honduran man whose family’s tent is among the hundreds that have filled every spot in a Mexican plaza in Tijuana, near the busiest U.S.-Mexico border crossing, told The Associated Press in a recent interview that many migrants have interpreted the Biden administration’s messaging on immigration to mean the border was “open.”
In a bid to persuade would-be immigrants not to rush the border, the Biden administration has rolled out “more aggressive” communications. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was interviewed on four Sunday news shows in an effort to drive this home.
“Our message has been straightforward—the border is closed,” Mayorkas said. “We are expelling families. We are expelling single adults. And we’ve made a decision that we will not expel young, vulnerable children.”
Trump weighed in on the matter, issuing a statement on Sunday blasting Biden’s policy shift and urging him to complete Trump’s signature border wall.