President Joe Biden said Tuesday that it's "not rational" to send immigrants who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border back to countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua or Venezuela.
In a brief exchange with White House reporters, the president was asked why the southern border has seemingly been "more overwhelmed" during his tenure.
Biden's replied: "Because there are three countries. There are fewer and fewer immigrants coming from Central America than from Mexico. It's a totally different circumstance.
"What's on my watch now is Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, and the ability to send them back to those states is not rational," said Biden, adding that "we're working with Mexico and other countries to see if we can stop the flow."
The logistical problems at the southern border have been well documented over the last 19 months:
- Approximately 5 million migrants have reportedly crossed the southern border since the Biden administration took over the White House in January 2021.
- According to Customs and Border Protection data, more than 2.1 million illegal immigrants have already been arrested at the border this year — a substantial spike from the previous four years.
- Border officials have incurred at least 150,000 migrant encounters at the southern border for 17 consecutive months.
- Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, both Republicans, made national headlines by sending approximately 50 illegal immigrants to a Massachusetts beach community. The migrants had been at Martha's Vineyard — a summertime vacation spot for wealthy people living along the East Coast — for less than 48 hours, before Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, also a Republican, called in the National Guard to transport the migrants to a military base at Cape Cod.
Shortly after, President Biden chided Abbott and DeSantis, saying the governors were "playing politics" with the lives of migrants.
At the same time, no one in the media asked the president or his communications staff to compare/contrast the actions of Abbott and DeSantis with the White House acknowledged stealth flying of migrants to various parts of the country last year — after Biden removed U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021.
On Tuesday, after the president concluded his public remarks, a reporter asked if DeSantis was planning to send any migrants to Delaware.
As he exited, Biden suggested that DeSantis visit his home state, saying: "We have a beautiful shoreline."
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