- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 18, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday lambasted the Biden administration and Democrats for sending “mixed signals” to migrants seeking to enter the country illegally.

Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, argued from the floor of the Senate that a “security” and “health crisis” was brewing on the U.S.-Mexico border because of policies put in place by President Biden.

“Democrats claim this overall influx is not because of their new administration,” the minority leader said. “Well, that would be news to the migrants themselves. Some of these people have told reporters it was the Democrats’ rhetoric that led them to come.”

“Some have shown up wearing T-shirts with the Biden campaign’s logo on them,” he added. 

Mr. McConnell pointed to White House directives allowing illegal migrants to reside within the country while awaiting court hearings, as well as legislation that Democrats are pushing in the House, as proof of “mixed signals.”

The administration’s policies are only making the confusion worse, Mr. McConnell said.

“Speaking of mixed signals — this week, the House is voting on immigration bills,” he said. “They’re taking up an amnesty plan that would create a special new path to citizenship for illegal immigrants working in certain industries.” 

“The administration can’t admit they’ve caused [this] crisis,” Mr. McConnell said. “They have yet to address the crisis, and House Democrats are backing policies that would only exacerbate the wrong incentive.”

The remarks come as border crossings, specifically by unaccompanied minors, have surged since Mr. Biden took office.

In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered more than 9,400 unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the country illegally. The figure presented a 60% jump from January.

Rising numbers have not been sequestered to minors. Overall, U.S. Customs and Border protection saw a 28 percent jump in all encounters in February, with nearly 100,000 migrants attempting to traverse the country’s southern border.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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