President Joe Biden has for the first time described the recent surge of illegal immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border as a crisis, in the midst of Republican-led pressure to do so.Over the weekend, Biden was asked by a reporter in Delaware about his policy on refugee admissions.
“We’re going to increase the number [of refugees allowed into the country]. The problem was that the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up on the border with young people,” Biden said in response. “We couldn’t do two things at once. But now we are going to increase the number.”
There has been a public-relations battle on the language surrounding the unprecedented surge at the southern border since Biden took office. Republicans have pressed Biden and White House officials to refer to the situation as a crisis, while his surrogates have refused to do so, preferring to call it a “challenge.” Some news outlets, including The Associated Press, have told their editors and reporters not to refer to the surge as a “crisis.”
Data provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) showed that agents have apprehended 172,000 illegal aliens along the border in March, leading Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, to say it is “the biggest surge that we’ve ever seen in the history of the Border Patrol.”