White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre falsely claimed illegal immigration has vastly decreased, a day before the Biden administration moved to deploy the military to the southern border.
"When it comes to illegal migration, you’ve seen it come down by more than 90 percent, and that's because of the actions that this president has taken." Jean-Pierre said Monday, without citing any data. Her comments follow similar declarations of confidence in border security from President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Illegal immigration actually hit a record-high in 2022 of 2.76 million encounters.
The administration's claims that illegal immigration is not a serious problem are undercut by the White House's plans, revealed Tuesday, to send 1,500 active duty troops to the border ahead of the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that allows border agents to turn away migrants. The troops will assist agents with administrative duties, Politico reported, joining 2,500 National Guard troops already deployed at the border.
Hundreds of Department of Homeland Security staffers are also shifting focus ahead of an anticipated border surge, receiving training this week to help in catch-and-release efforts through May and June.
"Once again, the Biden administration is using the rest of the government to wave more migrants through," a senior Homeland Security official told the Washington Free Beacon on the condition of anonymity. The administration has given $290 million to a George Soros-linked nonprofit that works to help illegal immigrants fight deportation.
Former president Donald Trump sent more than 5,000 troops to the border in October 2018 during a surge of illegal crossings that saw roughly 80 percent fewer migrants than what experts expect after the end of Title 42. Democrats criticized Trump’s decision and said it was a misuse of military resources and personnel.