Media Prematurely Spike Football on Biden Border Crisis

(Official White House photo, via Wikimedia Commons, and Getty Images)
August 7, 2023

A two-and-a-half-year surge of illegal immigration paused for a few weeks this summer, and the mainstream media all but declared President Joe Biden had fixed the southern border. Migrants, however, didn't get the memo.

Then: After the Biden administration allowed Title 42 to expire in May—ending the rapid expulsion of migrants on public health grounds—illegal immigration fell off instead of skyrocketing even higher as expected. Media outlets initially hedged about the potential temporariness of the downtick before giving in and joining Biden's victory parade.

Politico, "As border crossings dip, Biden admin crows about the fiasco that never happened":

The Biden administration on Tuesday took a victory lap, declaring that its immigration plan is "working as intended" nearly a month after a major shift in policy at the nation's southern border.

Axios, "GOP's crumbling case against Biden on crime, immigration and inflation":

Meanwhile, illegal border crossings dropped to the lowest level in over two years in June, the first full month under Biden’s new, restrictive asylum rule, which makes it much harder to attain asylum.

The Guardian, "Where did it all go right for Biden? Facts blunt Republican attack lines":

Immigration is another quintessential line of attack for Republicans. There were dire predictions about what would happen when pandemic-era Title 42 restrictions were lifted in May. Yet last month, under a new rule that makes it harder to attain full asylum, illegal border crossings fell to the lowest level in more than two years and the issue quickly faded from the news agenda.

Now: Illegal border crossings spiked by more than 30 percent last month, according to preliminary U.S. Customs and Border Protection data obtained by the Washington Post. The Tucson, Ariz., border sector saw more migrant apprehensions in July—40,000—than in any previous month in 15 years.

The Post did not mention that Biden's purported solution to the border crisis has involved waving through many more asylum-seekers than before. The Washington Free Beacon reported last week that the administration has repeatedly raised, and then ignored, its own limits on how many migrants can enter the country using the new CBP One mobile application. Nearly 46,000 asylum seekers were allowed in last month.

Context: The media have prematurely celebrated Biden's supposed accomplishments before.