Friday, October 1, 2021

White House Whoppers: Summer of Misleading Claims Continues With Border Crisis

As Biden administration officials scramble to contain the political fallout over a surge in migration at the border, they have made a series of false or misleading claims, capping off a summer of bending the truth to avoid controversies.
From Afghanistan to the economy to the border, President Joe Biden and his top aides have often attempted to deflect criticism of their policies by providing inaccurate information to the public, with varying degrees of success.
Here are some of the less-than-truthful claims offered up by the Biden administration since July.
Testifying before Congress this week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas defended his agency’s handling of border security amid the Haitian migrant influx.
“The border is secure. We're executing our plan,” Mayorkas said. Responding later to a question from a Republican congressman, Mayorkas added that the border is presently “no less secure than it was previously.”
Setting aside the crisis in Del Rio, Texas, resulting from a spike in the number of Haitians crossing the border, illegal immigration has exploded under Biden’s watch, undermining Mayorkas’s claim.
Border crossings in June hit the highest levels recorded in 21 years. During the month of July alone, Border Patrol agents encountered more than 212,000 people attempting to cross into the country illegally.
In July 2019, at a time when former President Donald Trump was accused of presiding over a border crisis himself, Border Patrol agents encountered roughly 82,000 people attempting to cross into the country illegally.
Critics have blamed the liberal language Biden used on immigration during the campaign, as well as his decision to rescind virtually all of Trump’s immigration policies immediately upon taking office.
Mayorkas sought to discourage more Haitians from heading to Del Rio and to stem concerns about the number of people fanning out into the United States by warning migrants not to come to the border.
“If you come to the United States illegally, you will be returned,” the DHS secretary said this week.
However, thousands of Haitian migrants have been released into the U.S. after passing through immigration facilities and receiving a notice to appear in court, a process that can take a year or more.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki based her defense of the lack of COVID-19 restrictions or vaccine requirements placed on the migrants by arguing that the protocols aren’t necessary because the migrants aren’t staying in the U.S.
Her argument, too, falls apart when exposed to the reality that so many migrants are being released into the U.S. from overwhelmed border facilities.
Biden on Friday joined a chorus of administration officials and Democrats condemning Border Patrol agents over images that misleadingly portrayed agents on horseback whipping migrants.
"I promise you, those people will pay," Biden said of the agents. "There will be consequences. It's an embarrassment. But beyond an embarrassment, it's dangerous. It's wrong."
The Department of Homeland Security said it launched an investigation of the episode after the widely shared pictures sparked outrage.
However, experts have said Border Patrol agents are never issued whips and noted the ropes shown in the pictures are simply slack in agents’ reins.
What’s more, the photographer in El Paso, Texas, who snapped the photos told a local news station Thursday that neither he nor any of his colleagues saw agents whipping anyone.

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