Former border officials criticized the Biden administration for misleading the general public about the influx of migrants arriving at the southern border during a Heritage Foundation virtual event Tuesday.
Former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf and former Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said Biden administration officials have intentionally downplayed the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
“This administration is continuing to convince the American people that we’re not seeing what we’re seeing, that it’s actually not the crisis that it is,” Morgan said at the event. “They’re working overtime to downplay, to spin, to provide misdirection … and quite frankly blatant lies are coming out of this administration.”
Wolf said, “what we know is they’re [the Biden administration] not listening to experts on the ground, they’re not listening to the men and women of Border Patrol.”
Leaders across the aisle are pushing back against Biden’s open border policies.
The border crisis will only get worse if his policies are left in place.@TxDPS and @TexasGuard continue to do the Federal Government’s job of securing our border & arresting criminals. pic.twitter.com/E5xbv8japb
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 12, 2021
Morgan criticized DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for “blatantly lying to the American people” when he said the borders were secure and closed during testimony to Congress on March 17.
“For anybody in this administration to say the border is secure, again it’s just absurd and it’s a lie,” Morgan told the DCNF. “When the secretary said that, that’s when he lost … when he said that the border is secure, at that moment he lost all 63,000 men and women of CBP because every one of them knows that that’s not true.”
The Biden administration attributed the influx of migrants who arrived at the border in January and February to seasonal occurrences when historically the peak in encounters has occurred between March and May, according to Morgan. CBP officials encountered over 172,000 migrants in March 2021 and Mayorkas said the U.S. is on track to encounter more migrants this year than in the last 20 years.
“It’s absurd and it’s just a lie to say that a 70% increase [in the number of migrants encountered at the southern border] from February to March is seasonal, or more than a 400% increase from March  to March  is seasonal, it’s just disingenuous, it’s a blatant lie that’s being told,” Morgan told the DCNF.
Wolf referenced reports that the migration surge started in April 2020, however, he said it was not a crisis then because CBP facilities were not overwhelmed and overcrowded since there were consequences for illegal entry including removal from the U.S.
“In 2020 there was no crisis, there was no backup of facilities because there was an immigration consequence to an illegal behavior,” Wolf told the DCNF. “We put them [illegal migrants] in a number of pathways and all of those have been eliminated, so there is no consequence for that illegal behavior. The lack of enforcement is directly related to the increase and the surge that we see today.”
The Biden administration reduced Immigration and Customs Enforcement official’s authority by 90% and suspended most deportations, according to Morgan.