The Biden administration would like you to know that, whatever is happening at the border, it’s not Joe Biden’s fault. It’s Donald Trump’s. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Sunday the historic surge of unaccompanied minors in recent months isn’t “because of a speech Joe Biden gave,” but “because of horrible conditions in El Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras.”
Never mind that conditions in those countries have been horrible for at least the last five administrations. The important thing, President Biden said in an interview that aired Friday, is that his administration “has now gotten control” of the situation and that the numbers are “way down now.” They’re not, though, and we’ll all find out just how much higher the April numbers were over March in the coming days.
But the spin that everything is okay on the border is the message that team Biden is desperately trying to project. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki predictably lied about the border crisis on Tuesday, claiming the current surge of illegal immigration is “something that began during and was exacerbated by the Trump administration.” In fact, the surge began in January, after Biden took office on the heels of a presidential campaign that promised amnesty for illegal immigrants and looser border policies.
It’s true that the number of border apprehensions had been creeping up last fall under the Trump administration, from 71,945 in October 2020 to 78,444 in January, but from January to February apprehensions jumped to more than 100,000, and again from February to March they jumped to more than 172,000 — the highest monthly total since March 2001. Everyone knows why, and anyone can read the data for themselves on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, so it’s curious that Psaki would lie so blatantly.
Maybe the White House is betting corporate media will keep giving them a pass on the border, and maybe they will. After all, for the most part the DC press has no problem with illegal immigration and open borders, and has been eager to run interference for the administration since the crisis began — recall, for example, PBS White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor asking Biden if all these migrants are coming now because he’s so “moral” and decent.”
The Border Crisis Is a Cartel Crisis
But there’s another dynamic to the border crisis that at least a few reporters aren’t willing to ignore: the surge of fentanyl coming into the United States from Mexico, the rising chaos in border communities, and the breakdown of anti-cartel operations between the two countries.