Is Biden right to blame Trump for immigration crisis?


Fact Box

  • Under President Trump’s administration, more than “450 miles” were added to the 2,000 mile border, and amounted to $6 billion of the $11 billion originally assigned to the project. 
  • The number of illegal immigrants in the US dropped to 10.3 million in 2019, a 12% decrease since 2010. 
  • On January 20, 2021, President Biden terminated wall construction at the Southern Border. He also revoked Trump’s “Remain-in-Mexico” policy to reinstate “catch-and-release.” 
  • On March 22, Former President Trump said President Biden was “destroying the country” by allowing “violent people” into the US, stating Biden’s new policy allows criminals, murderers, and sex traffickers to enter unabated.
  • Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, reported to Fox News that Border Patrol officers are “overwhelmed.”
  • According to US Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrant apprehensions have been increasing for the last 10 years, and reached a high of 96,974 in February 2021
  • During Trump’s administration, 2019 saw the largest surge in migrants, totaling 132,856 by May.

Andrew (Yes)

While many former President Trump supporters may have appreciated his disruptive nature, our government systems have experienced him differently. Any system that is disrupted for an extended period of time is likely to be overwhelmed when normal service returns; our immigration system is no different. Former President Trump was so disruptive in his attempts to dismantle the immigration system by reducing normal immigration levels and blocking asylum seekers through Title 42 that there should be little surprise an influx of migrants has arrived. Now that the Biden Administration has signaled it will restore more reasonable immigration policies, immigrants see they are welcome again. It is worth noting that the system former President Trump was so obsessed with destroying has been used by all previous administrations, Democratic and Republican. The explanation is simple: we are now reaping what Trump sowed during his presidency.

Former President Trump's inhumane 'remain in Mexico' plan has resulted in an enormous pile-up of immigrants wanting to come through the Southern border. This failed plan seems to have been based on faulty logic, which believed discouraging individuals who have given up most of their worldly possessions, abandoned their homelands, and walked thousands of miles would result in them simply going away. This shows an incredible naïveté and cruelness on the part of the Trump Administration. Instead of investing resources to speedily process the more than twenty-five thousand migrants remaining in Mexico due to the Trump policy, former President Trump seems to have thought he could simply ignore them until they go away. Instead, Trump is gone, and now the Biden Administration is picking up the pieces of Trump's disastrous policies.


Bill (No)

Biden's attempt to blame Trump for the current crisis at the border is merely him trying to deflect attention away from his own disastrous immigration policy. Under Biden, refugees and immigrants looking to migrate to the US (both legally and illegally) have exponentially increased. In 2020, the number of refugees admitted to the US was 12,000; Biden proposes to admit 62,500 this year and double that number to 125,000 in 2022. 

A key reason there is an immigration crisis is that we are allowing immigrants to stay on the US side of the border while their cases are being reviewed. Biden is fulfilling his campaign promises to relax controls on immigration, stop deportations, end Trump's policy of requiring northern-bound immigrants to wait on the Mexican side of the border, and discontinue construction of Trump's famed border wall. As a result, the surge of new immigrants at the border should come as no surprise. And Biden's feeble attempt to blame the immigration crisis on Trump unravels when one examines the numbers. In February 2021, over 100,000 immigrants were apprehended at the border, which is three times the number from a year ago, and the highest number for the month in five years (that is, prior to Trump taking office).

Trump's immigration policies aimed to prevent and reduce illegal immigration while enforcing existing laws to deport illegal immigrants who were already in the US. In contrast, Biden's policies aim to roll back Trump's immigration reforms just because they were Trump's. Biden's only been in office for two months, yet his catastrophic immigration policies were the focus of the questions raised at his first press conference.

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