President Joe Biden lied about a lot this year, but his deceptions about the crisis on the U.S. southern border just might take the cake.
While Americans saw footage of thousands of migrants pouring across the border with little to no vetting, Biden and his team repeatedly denied that there was ever a problem. Not only did the White House frantically drown out the truth about the border with lies — including that officials were expelling migrants under Title 42, even though federal authorities released thousands of illegal aliens into the U.S. — but the president also prompted corporate media outlets such as Politico to admit that “Everyone’s mad at Biden over migration.”
Here are 14 of Biden’s biggest border crisis falsehoods.
1. Biden Said Administration Was Not Opening New Migrant Centers
Biden falsely claimed during a February interview with Univision that the new administration is merely reopening migrant camps that were operated during the Trump administration even as his White House created new ones.
“They opened up one, one that was a former one used in the administration, in the last administration,” Biden said. “Our hope and expectation is that won’t stay open very long and that we’ll be able to provide for every kid who comes across the border safely.”
Border agents opened a new facility in Donna, Texas, three weeks prior to Biden’s interview, according to the Washington Post, while also creating new camps in Del Rio, Texas, and Arizona.
2. Biden and White House Repeatedly Denied Border Crisis as Crossings Surged
Biden denied that there is a crisis at the border after departing a White House briefing in early March evaluating how to provide more than 20,000 beds for the largest projected influx of unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border.
“We’ll be able to handle it,” Biden told reporters as he was escorted out of the room by his vice president.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 2, 2021
3. Biden Claimed Migrants Not Flooding the Border Because of Him
During his first press conference, Biden claimed illegal aliens were crossing the border, not because of his rhetoric and open border policies, but because migrants’ chances of “dying on the way because of the heat in the desert” are lower in January, February, and March and because of the instability in their home countries.
“I guess I should be flattered people are coming because I’m a nice guy. … The truth of the matter is, nothing has changed. … That’s not the reason they’re coming. The reason they are coming is that it’s the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert, number one,” Biden said. “Number two, they’re coming because of the circumstances in [their] country.”
Biden believes surge in migrants is due to conditions in their countries & weather that's better for traveling not because he's seen as a "nice guy" who's lax on the border
"Does anyone suggest there was a 31% increase under Trump bc he was a nice guy?"https://t.co/eOGI4nbPU4 pic.twitter.com/d7ZAj2sgSI
— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) March 25, 2021
While Biden seemed convinced that people were flooding the border as part of a normal immigration cycle, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently said it is the new president’s migration policies and rhetoric that sparked hopeful “expectations” and created the border crisis.
“Expectations were created that with the government of President Biden, there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border, thinking that it is easier to do so,” López Obrador said, just weeks after he told reporters that many of those crossing the border illegally view Biden as “the migrant president.”
Some illegal aliens who crossed the border also testified that Biden was the deciding factor for why they chose to come to the U.S.
“So did you come here because Joe Biden was elected president?” ABC’s Martha Raddatz pressed.
“Basically. Basically,” one migrant father replied. “The main thing was the violence in our country. And the second thing, I think, was Joe Biden.”
4. Biden Said Majority of Migrant Families that Cross Border Are Sent Back
Biden said in his first press conference 64 days after his inauguration that a majority of the migrant families crossing the border illegally are sent back.
“If you take a look at the number of people are coming, the vast majority, the overwhelming majority of people coming to the border and crossing are being sent back,” Biden said at the White House. “We’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming.”
According to Customs and Border Protection data, however, a fraction of the 20,000 family units apprehended at that time had been sent back.
Further, Michelle Hackman, who covers immigration for The Wall Street Journal, reported on March 23 that an internal document she reviewed with her colleagues found that the weekend prior to Biden’s press conference, “only about 10 percent of families were being expelled.”
An internal document we saw over the weekend showed only about 10% of families were being expelled https://t.co/PrmRzEPLZw
— Michelle Hackman (@MHackman) March 23, 2021
5. Biden Claimed His Administration Has Control of the Border Crisis
In an interview with NBC’s Craig Melvin on “Today,” Biden falsely claimed his administration successfully reigned in the southern border crisis.
“It’s way down now, we’ve now gotten control,” Biden said.
“Is what's happening at the southern border, is it a crisis?” –@craigmelvin
“It is getting urgent action now.” -President Biden pic.twitter.com/NJL44nL5DY
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 30, 2021
While Biden was promising that the White House and other federal agencies were taking urgent action, a record-breaking 18,870 unaccompanied teens and children were being packed into overcrowded shelters plagued by COVID-19 spread and “dangerous” conditions for longer than the 72-hour limit permitted by federal law.
In fact, southwest border arrests have exceeded 100,000 every month since February, which hasn’t happened since CBP began tracking monthly arrests in 2000. Some months exceeded 200,000.
6. Biden Also Said Trump Admin Didn’t Adequately Plan for Border Crisis
Instead of facing the fact that U.S. Customs and Border Protection took more than 172,000 illegal aliens into custody in March, making it the busiest month for the agency in more than 20 years, Biden blamed the previous administration for not preparing for the influx exacerbated by Democrat rhetoric.
“For example, we have — they didn’t plan for, which it comes every year, this flow, whether it is 22,000 or 10,000, they didn’t have the beds that were available. They didn’t plan for the overflow,” Biden said during his interview with NBC News. “They didn’t plan for the Department of Health and Human Services to have places to take the kids from the Border Patrol and put them in beds where there was security and there were that people who could take care of them. So, there is a significant change right now, a significant change in the circumstance for children coming to and at the border.”
As noted by former Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, “This is an outrageous claim.”
“In November 2020, CBP under the Trump administration had fewer than 800 unaccompanied alien children, family units, and single adults in custody. In March of this year, that number had exploded to more than 10,000. Even though apprehensions started increasing in 2020, as growing numbers of illegal migrants gambled on a potential Biden election victory and subsequent amnesty, the Trump administration had strong policies in place to quickly and responsibly process and deport most of these individuals. This meant there was no systemic issue with backlogs or overcrowded CBP or HHS facilities,” Morgan said.
7. Biden Asserted the Border Was Under Control
Despite his belief that Trump created the border crisis, Biden falsely claimed it was “getting urgent action now.”
“For example, a month ago, we had thousands of young kids in custody in places they shouldn’t be, and controlled by the Border Patrol. We have now cut that down dramatically,” Biden said in an interview with NBC News.
As noted by The Heritage Foundation, even if the “number of unaccompanied minors in Customs and Border Protection custody has decreased, the numbers are clear: most of those minors are simply being transferred from one government agency to another — in this CBP custody to the Department of Health and Human Services.”
8. Biden Blamed Trump for the Border Crisis (Again)
During his interview with NBC News, Biden claimed that the “one god-awful mess at the border” was created by the Trump administration.
“Hey, look, here’s what happened – the failure to have a real transition. The two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the immigration [department] and the Defense Department. So, we didn’t find out they had fired a whole lot of people, that they were understaffed considerably,” Biden said.
This statement, former Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said, is false.
“At the Department of Homeland Security, we provided the transition team with more than 200 extensive briefings on homeland security issues, the majority of which dealt with the border, immigration policy, and the processes and procedures we had in place to secure the border and reduce asylum fraud. … During the transition, the incoming Biden administration was made fully aware of the consequences of undoing the effective policies that had fixed the previous crisis and driven illegal crossings down substantially,” he said.
9. White House Said Trump Admin Spurred Border Crisis
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Trump created “an immigration system rooted in destructive and chaotic policies” that spurred the border crisis.
“Our administration immediately jumped into action to address the influx of migrants at the border, something that began during and was exacerbated by the Trump administration,” Psaki said.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 4, 2021
While migrant apprehensions did begin increasing in fall 2020 as many anticipated a Biden victory, border crossings surged during the first few months of Biden’s presidency. Not only did U.S. Customs and Border Protection take more than 172,000 illegal aliens into custody in March, but data also shows that increases between February and March forced CBP to stretch its chart to accommodate the largest numbers it has seen in at least two decades. It had to stretch the chart’s Y-axis again in August to account for the more than 213,000 migrant encounters in July.
10. Border Lead Kamala Harris Falsely Claimed It Was ‘Always the Plan’ to Visit Border
During her trip to the border in El Paso, Texas, after delaying a visit for more than 90 days, Vice President Kamala Harris claimed it was “always the plan” to address the effects as well as the “root causes” of Biden’s border crisis.
“I said back in March that I was gonna come to the border, so this is not a new plan,” Biden’s border lead told reporters.
REPORTER: "Why did you decide that right now was the right time to make your first trip to the border?"
KAMALA: "Well, it's not my first trip… I said back in March I was going to come to the border so this is not a new plan." pic.twitter.com/haqOam6Xvb
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 25, 2021
Despite her claims, Harris was not always set on visiting the border. Not only did her own spokesman say in March that there were no plans for the VP to make a trip to the border in the “near future,” but Harris also laughed off or became defensive when reporters asked her any questions about whether she planned to address the influx of illegal aliens and poor conditions in detention centers for migrant children.
Harris also repeated the lie that it’s not her “first trip” to the border during this administration. The last times the vice president visited the border were before she was elected in October when she campaigned in McAllen, Texas, and in 2018 when, as a senator, Harris protested the Trump administration’s immigration policies in San Diego.
11. Biden Said Border Patrol Whipped Migrants. They Didn’t.
Biden deepened his administration’s lies that mounted Border Patrol agents used “whips” against Haitian migrants at the southern U.S. border by claiming that “people were being strapped” and run over by horses.
“It was horrible to see. To see people treated like they did? Horses running them over? People being strapped? It’s outrageous,” Biden claimed.
The president repeated the administration’s promise to conduct an investigation into the incident, which started after footage and photos on social media went viral, and said that the people involved “will pay.” The White House already announced that Border Patrol in Del Rio would no longer use horses.
Biden on the lie that border patrol were using whips on illegal immigrants at the border:
"To see people treated like they did? Horses running them over? People being strapped? It's outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay." pic.twitter.com/Jx79KoYTy9
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 24, 2021
“I’ve never seen them whip anyone,” Paul Ratje told KTSM. “He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.”
NEW: The photographer who took the now infamous photos of mounted Border Patrol agents in Del Rio says he and his colleagues never saw agents whipping anyone and the photos are being misconstrued.
However, the false narrative is off and running. @FoxNews https://t.co/scwhoqOqYS
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 24, 2021
Mayorkas previously said that despite viral claims amplified by the White House, Democrats, and the corporate media, Border Patrol agents were not whipping Haitian migrants who illegally crossed the border into the United States. One day later, Mayorkas changed his tune and told CNN viewers, “[I was] horrified by what I saw.”
“One cannot weaponize a horse to aggressively attack a child. That is unacceptable. That is not what our policies and our training require. … Let me be quite clear: That is not acceptable,” Mayorkas claimed. “Any mistreatment or abuse of a migrant is unacceptable, is against Border Control policy, training, and our department’s values.”
12. Biden Claimed He Had No Time to Visit the Southern Border
During his CNN town hall on Oct. 21, Biden claimed he has no time to visit the southern border.
“I’ve been there before,” Biden said, echoing an excuse Harris often used before she was pressured into a quick trip. “And I haven’t — I mean, I know it well. I guess I should go down. But the — but the whole point of it is: I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down. I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion worth of damage done by — by hurricanes and floods and — and weather, and traveling around the world.”
Biden also used his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, and her visits to “both sides of the river,” the Rio Grande, as an excuse for his lack of presence.
BIDEN ON THE BORDER: "I guess I should go down, but the whole point of it is I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down. I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion damage done by hurricanes and floods and weather and traveling around the world." pic.twitter.com/mgWLxvf36d
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 22, 2021
Despite Biden’s claims that he’s too busy with other important matters to deal with the unraveling border crisis in person, the president had taken multiple vacations and had been flying back to his home in Delaware nearly every weekend where he escaped the scrutiny of visitor logs and pressing White House responsibilities.
13. Biden Said His Administration Isn’t Paying Illegal Immigrants
During a press conference on Nov. 3, Biden denied reports that his administration was planning to provide payouts to illegal immigrants separated at the southern border.
“If you guys keep sending that garbage out? Yeah, but it’s not true,” he said. “That’s not gonna happen.”
The president’s claim, however, was refuted the following day by White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who told reporters that Biden is “perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the U.S. government.”
White House spox: Biden is “perfectly comfortable” with the American taxpayer funding cash payments for illegal immigrants. pic.twitter.com/6n9pVpmqbk
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) November 4, 2021
Moreover, the American Civil Liberties Union also contradicted Biden’s claim, with Executive Director Anthony D. Romero telling Fox News that the plan is actively under consideration.
“President Biden may not have been fully briefed about the actions of his very own Justice Department as it carefully deliberated and considered the crimes committed against thousands of families separated from their children as an intentional governmental policy,” Romero said. “We respectfully remind President Biden that he called these actions ‘criminal’ in a debate with then-President Trump and campaigned on remedying and rectifying the lawlessness of the Trump administration. We call on President Biden to right the wrongs of this national tragedy.”
14. Biden Walked Back Claims About ‘Garbage’ Report Detailing Illegal Alien Payouts
Biden walked back claims about a Wall Street Journal report detailing hundreds of thousands of dollars in payouts to illegal aliens and said that he supported a compensation policy.
“If, in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you were coming across the border, whether it was legal or illegal, and you lost your child. You lost your child, [your child] is gone, you deserve some kind of compensation! No matter what the circumstances,” Biden said. “What that will be, I have no idea.”
Wow. I missed this Saturday — a must-watch forceful defense by POTUS of a potential financial settlement to compensate families deliberately separated by Trump. Reminds me of when he called separations “criminal” in the presidential debate. pic.twitter.com/JEn3LQIBxq
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) November 8, 2021
Biden previously claimed the WSJ report was “garbage” and denied that the “administration is planning to pay illegal immigrants who are separated from their families at the border up to $450,000 each, possibly a million dollars per family.” One day later, Jean-Pierre claimed that the president is “perfectly comfortable with the Department of Justice settling with the individuals and families who are currently in litigation with the U.S. government.”
Biden refused to answer further questions about potential DOJ settlements.