Many, like Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), didn’t take lightly the banality and reductionism with which the president analyzed the issue.
Joe Biden’s words
Biden, who hours before the press conference put VP Harris in charge of handling the border crisis said that the current border crisis is nothing out of the ordinary: “The truth of the matter is: Nothing has changed. As many people came — 28 percent increase in children to the border in my administration; 31 percent in the last year of — in 2019, before the pandemic, in the Trump administration. It happens every single, solitary year.”
The president noted that despite the fact that there is a “significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. That happens every year.”
The president, in a lapse of poor lucidity, seized the moment to criticize his predecessor: “Does anybody suggest that there was a 31% increase under Trump because he was a good guy and because he was doing a good job at the border? That’s not the reason they’re coming […] What Trump did was dismantle all the elements that exist to deal with what has been a problem for a long time. He, in fact, shut down the number of available beds. He didn’t fund HHS to get kids out of border patrol facilities where they should never have been for more than a few days. He dismantled all of that.”
“And so what we’re doing now is attempting to rebuild — rebuild the system that can accommodate the — what is happening today. And I like to think it’s because I’m a nice guy, but it’s not,” added Biden.
Senator Lindsey Graham reacts
Joe Biden’s remarks did not bode well with Senator Lindsey Graham, who reacted to the comments on the border crisis in a highly critical tone.
“With all due respect, this press conference is hard to watch. The misinformation being given by President Biden on immigration is stunning,” began Sen. Graham’s Twitter thread. “It’s clear he does not have the situational awareness he needs to understand what is going on at the border or how to fix it.”
“The Trump policies created dramatic decreases in illegal immigration. The changes made by President Biden have created a virtual human tsunami,” Lindsey Graham added
The senator culminated his Twitter thread by explaining the seriousness of the president’s failure to size up the border crisis: “What’s sad is that President Biden doesn’t understand the basics about the current dynamic at the border and the “pull” factors of illegal immigration.”
Graham also spoke out in a less than two-minute video via Twitter where he explained that the president’s press conference, far from improving the situation, made it worse.
The Republican senator argued that, instead of asking people not to come to the United States, he seemed to invite migrants to keep coming.
“President Biden doesn’t understand what Trump’s policies were. He doesn’t understand the driving factor of illegal migration. And this is not a seasonal change. The reason we have so many unaccompanied minors is that President Biden changed the policy to allow them to stay here rather than be sent back home where they come from,” Graham said. “He doesn’t understand that by changing the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy he’s inciting asylum seekers to come to our border because now they stay in America. And that’s what they want. They will never show up to the hearing,” said Senator Lindsey Graham.