President Biden on Tuesday told migrants thinking about entering the United States to stay in their home countries as Mr. Biden and his administration struggle to deal with a surge on the southern border.
“Yes, I can say quite clearly: Don’t come,” Mr. Biden told ABC News. “And [while] we’re in the process of getting set up … don’t leave your town or city or community.”
Asked if it was a mistake not to anticipate the current surge at the border, Mr. Biden said there were similar surges in 2019 and 2020.
He said the current surge “could be” worse than those in recent years.
He dismissed talk that immigrants are becoming emboldened because they think he’s a “nice guy” - though many of them have cited Mr. Biden’s immigration policies in comparison to former President Trump’s as a reason to try to cross.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas likewise said Tuesday that now is not the time for immigrants to come to the border - a message other members of the administration have tried to deliver in recent weeks.
Mr. Mayorkas said the number of migrants trying to cross the southwest border is on pace for the highest rate in the last 20 years.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who took a trip to Texas on Monday to tour the border, has called on Mr. Biden to visit the border as well to look at what’s happening.
Mr. Biden said Tuesday he doesn’t have plans at the moment to travel to the border.