Trump and Biden spar over immigration and ‘spiraling tsunami’ at the border

Former President Donald Trump blasted his successor for what he called a “spiraling tsunami at the border” with the Biden camp firing back late Friday as the immigration crisis deepens.

“Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden. Our great Border Patrol and ICE agents have been disrespected, demeaned, and mocked,” Trump wrote in an email from his 45 Office account.

President Biden’s press secretary snapped back at Trump at a White House press briefing a few hours later.

“We don’t take our advice or counsel from former President Trump on immigration policy, which was not only inhumane but ineffective over the last four years,” said Jen Psaki. “We’re going to chart our own path forward, and that includes treating children with humanity and respect, and ensuring they’re safe when they cross our borders.”

CNN reported Friday that the Biden administration has notified facilities caring for migrant children that they can open back up to pre-Covid-19 levels.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador held a video conference with Biden Tuesday where the two leaders discussed immigration, with both addressing the immigration crisis. ABC News reported a plan to consider a plan for temporary worker visas is in the works.

But Trump lashed out at Biden in a long email saying, in part, “the spiraling tsunami at the border is overwhelming local communities, depleting budgets, crowding hospitals, and taking jobs from legal American workers.”

Trump added: “Now that Biden has implemented nationwide Catch-and-Release, illegal immigrants from every corner of the Earth will descend upon our border and never be returned. You can never have a secure border unless people who cross illegally are promptly removed.”

Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), said the crisis at the border — especially during the pandemic — can be “mindboggling.” But, she added, it should not become a political football.

“There’s no doubt it’s a challenging issue, but the rhetoric about immigration has polarized people to the extreme,” Millona told the Herald Friday night after hearing about Trump’s remarks.

“The Biden administration,” she added, “is facing a incredibly challenging situation and COVID has created another super-layer of complexity.”

She called on a bipartisan approach to immigration reform and border safety that also takes into account “interests of border communities.”

Trump’s argument is the reversal of numerous policies under his watch designed to restrict immigration has resulted in a crisis on the border that will only get worse. How to handle unaccompanied minors is a big issue — so too has been an uptick in migrants heading to the border.

 

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