“PBS NewsHour” correspondent Yamiche Alcindor reported Wednesday that the Biden administration is in a “tough spot” when it comes to the border crisis, noting one immigrant mother told her she sees Joe Biden “more as a father than as a president” because of his past rhetoric encouraging migrants to seek asylum.
During an interview with ABC News, President Biden told migrants not to come to the United States as a surge of migrants threatens to overwhelm the border in the opening months of his term, but his language on the campaign trail and reversal of Trump-era policies have created a mixed message.
“The tough spot the Biden administration finds itself in is because President Biden has been very vocal that he’s going to be more humane,” Alcindor told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.
“He changed these policies so that unaccompanied minors are the only ones who can come to the border without legal status and be let into the United States, and then you have this real narrative that I’ve heard from immigrants myself that I’ve interviewed, who say they see President Biden as more lenient. I had an immigrant tell me, an immigrant mother tell me, ‘I see President Biden more as a father than as a president.’
“I had someone else say, ‘I think he has a bigger heart than President Trump. Now is the time to really come’,” Alcindor continued. “That’s the message that they’re [the White House is] trying to fight back against. Experts tell me and lawyers tell me that even though President Biden is continuously saying, ‘Don’t come, don’t come,’ his actions are speaking louder than his words.”
Thousands of unaccompanied children have arrived since January, and the border has seen an increase in asylum-seekers, illegal immigrant crossings and drug-smuggling in response to the Biden administration’s dismantling of Trump policies on border enforcement.
This “spike,” Alcindor said, is occurring due to what Biden said.
Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins has reported extensively from the border and said Wednesday that migrants had not heard Biden’s message in the ABC interview, instead believing they would still be welcomed into the U.S.