Former President Donald Trump on Saturday accused Joe Biden of “destroying” the United States with his administration’s “failed border policies,” in a wide-ranging interview that also saw him criticize the president for his handling of issues in the Middle East and China.
“If he would have done nothing, we would have had right now the strongest border in history,” Trump said in an interview with Dick Morris on Newsmax’s “Dick Morris Democracy.” “All he had to do is nothing.”
Since assuming office on Jan. 20, President Joe Biden has rescinded a number of his predecessor’s immigration and border policies.
Republican lawmakers have long argued that the burgeoning crisis is a result of Biden’s move to overturn several Trump-era immigration policies that helped curbed the flow of illegal border crossings. This includes his predecessor’s cornerstone Migrant Protection Protocol, which effectively ended the problematic “catch and release” policy, significantly stemming the number of illegal immigrants at the southern border in 2019.
In a return to Obama-era policies, the Biden administration is again releasing unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors into the country. Lawmakers argue that Biden’s act sent a signal to prospective migrants to once again travel to the United States.
The Biden administration, meanwhile, has sought to shift the blame onto the previous administration, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas saying that the previous government had “dismantled the orderly, humane, and efficient way of allowing children to make their claims under United States law in their own country.”
“I had everything worked out with the other countries, whether it’s Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico,” Trump said Saturday. “And even Mexico, stay in Mexico. In other words, these people ought to stay in Mexico, and they couldn’t get into our country. And he ended that. It’s just crazy what they did.”
Trump also claimed in his interview with Newsmax that the Northern Triangle countries are “opening their prisons.”
“Their prisoners are coming in, their murderers, their drug addicts, and drug dealers, by the way. And the human traffickers are coming in. And we’re accepting them, because they’ve opened up the borders,” Trump said. “The question is do they do it out of incompetence, which I happen to think, or they do it because they really believe open borders are good for this country? Which they are not.”
He added: “We won’t have a country. They are destroying our country.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data published on May 11, arrests and detentions at the U.S.–Mexico border hit record levels last month.
Immigration arrests and detentions at the southern border last month rose by 3 percent from March, to 178,622—the highest one-month total in 20 years, CBP data show.
Last month’s figures, however, marked the first month since Biden took office that the CBP didn’t record a major month-on-month jump in the number of border arrests and detentions, despite reaching record levels.
While the Biden administration has called the unprecedented surge in numbers a “challenge,” neither the president nor the vice president has visited the border.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on May 4, “After coming into office, our administration immediately jumped into action to address the influx of migrants at the border—something that began during and was exacerbated by the Trump administration.”
“If you look back 10 or 12 years ago, Israel was so protected by Congress. Congress loved Israel. Now, especially if you looked at the House, the House doesn’t like Israel. The House is protective of anything other than Israel,” Trump said.
Members of the progressive group that has come to be known as the “Squad”—Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib D-Mich.)—have come under fire in recent days for their controversial anti-Israel comments on Twitter as violence intensified, before a ceasefire agreement was eventually reached on May 20. The 11-day conflict started when Hamas launched rockets into Israel over a court case to evict several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem that triggered riots.
“What’s gone on with the House with AOC and Omar and all of these people and Pelosi, they are not in favor of Israel, and yet the Jewish vote goes to the Democrats,” Trump added.
The White House and “Squad” members didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment by The Epoch Times.
Janita Kan contributed to this report.