As a candidate, Joe Biden said that if he were elected president, migrants should "immediately surge to the border." The migrants took him up on it.
"What I would do as president is several more things," Biden said at the first Democratic primary debate for the 2020 election. "I would in fact make sure that there is… We immediately surge to the border, all those people who are seeking asylum."
As president, Biden followed through on reversing the immigration policies of former president Donald Trump, which he called "cruel" and "inhumane." Biden administration policies have led to an unprecedented border surge, with Biden overseeing the highest number of border crossings—roughly 5.5 million—in U.S. history.
The crisis has only worsened since Biden announced the end of Title 42, a Trump-era rule that expedites illegal immigrant expulsions. Mass amounts of illegal immigrants have crowded the border city of Tijuana, Mexico, waiting for Title 42 to expire at midnight Thursday, Reuters reported. The administration already accepts 99 percent of illegal immigrants' applications for exceptions from Title 42, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
While Biden has been forced to tighten border restrictions in response, reintroducing some policies similar to Trump's, he and his administration for years downplayed the crisis. Administration officials called the surge "seasonal," insisted the border was "secure," tried to shift blame to Trump and Republicans, and refused to call the spiraling situation a crisis.
As the end of Title 42 approaches, though, the administration has finally started owning up to the crisis. The president acknowledged Tuesday that the border is "going to be chaotic," while embattled Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted that Title 42's end will "strain our workforce, our communities, and our entire system."
Even White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who last week falsely claimed that illegal immigration has "come down by more than 90 percent," said Tuesday that "there are challenges at the border." She quickly followed up that remark by saying that immigration is "something that the president has taken seriously from day one."