Former president Donald Trump lashed out at the Joe Biden administration for its handling of the migrant crisis despite inheriting the “most secure border in history” and urged his successor to finish building the US-Mexico border wall.
“We proudly handed the Biden Administration the most secure border in history. All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot,” Mr Trump said in a statement.
He blasted the Biden administration for turning a “national triumph into national disaster” in the span of just a few weeks after taking office.
Mr Trump’s strong criticism came in response to a statement by Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, deflecting blame from Mr Biden’s administration in the handling of the influx of illegal migrants at the border. Mr Mayorkas said the current president “inherited” a broken system from the former president.
Attempting to volley mounting criticism over the surge of undocumented migrants, including unaccompanied children crossing into the US, Mr Mayorkas said the US border remains “closed” and is “secured.”
“It is taking time and it is difficult because the entire system was dismantled by the prior administration,” Mr Mayorkas told CNN. “There was a system in place that was torn down by the Trump administration.”
Mr Trump called on Mr Biden to “admit their total failure” and adopt the “Trump policies” and complete the wall, which was his biggest campaign promise in 2016.
The former president targeted Mr Mayorkas, calling him “pathetic,” “clueless,” “self-satisfied” and “incapable” of heading the department of Homeland Security.
“The pathetic, clueless performance of Secretary Mayorkas on the Sunday Shows today was a national disgrace. His self-satisfied presentation—in the middle of the massive crisis he helped engineer—is yet more proof he is incapable of leading DHS,” Mr Trump said.
He went on to accuse Biden administration of engaging in a “cover-up” to hide the border crisis and demanded “an immediate congressional investigation” over the purported gag order on border patrol agents on what they can say to the media.
Mr Mayorkas, however, said reports of a gag order are “unequivocally false.”
The data from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows that overall number of immigrants encountered on the US-Mexico border are higher than those in past three years at the same point.
More than 9,457 unaccompanied migrant children were apprehended at the southern border in February, which increased from the 5,858 migrant children apprehended in January.
A total of about 15,000 unaccompanied migrant children were detained between January and February this year as compared to 37,000 in 2020 and 75,000 in 2019.
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