President Biden said he hasn’t “had a whole hell of a lot of time” to make a trip down to the southern border to view firsthand the manufactured crisis he has created with his lax immigration policies, before falsely claiming that he and First Lady Jill Biden “have been” to the border.
In a CNN town hall Thursday night, Biden was asked the border question by a Republican law student Megan Crawford. The Republican audience member asked the president why he hasn’t visited the border in the ten months since taking office and why “suddenly revert[ing]” to using former President Trump’s hard-line immigration that he criticized just a year ago.
Biden argued that he had to keep Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy due to the “court said I had to maintain it.” When asked about Title 42, another Trump-era policy, Biden defended his decision to keep in place the health measure, citing the “continued extent” of COVID cases coming from countries that migrants are escaping from.
CNN Townhall moderator Anderson Cooper would then interject to ask Biden if he had “plans to visit the southern border?” The president declared that he has “been” to the border before, a claim that Fox News first noted last month they were unable to find “any record” of Biden ever visiting the border during his 40 years career in politics as well as his short time as a private “concern citizen.”
The president said he would consider visiting the border, giving excuses that he “has been busy” as a reason why he has not made a trip down south despite the crisis continuing to plague his presidency.
“I’ve been there before. I know it well; 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,” Biden said. “I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion worth of damage done by hurricanes and floods and weather and traveling around the world.”
Since taking office 10 months ago, Biden has made 19 trips to either one of his two Deleware homes, with the 20th time happening this weekend, spending at least part of 70 days of his presidency getting some Rest & Relaxation. Biden has also made 12-weekend trips during his presidency to Camp David, a country retreat for the current president, located in Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland.
While claiming he has been “traveling around the world,” the truth is Biden has only made one international trip back in June since taking office, spending just a week trekking across Europe for the G7 summit in Cornwall, United Kingdom; the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium and a bilateral summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva, Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Biden has crisscrossed the United States since returning from his first international trip, but the last trip he made to a state devasted by extreme weather was back in early September. The president traveled to New York and New Jersey, surveying areas impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which heavily devasted Lousiana a week prior. A week later, Biden traveled to Boise, Idaho, and received a briefing about recent California wildfires. After the briefing, the president traveled to Califonia, not to survey the wildfire damages in the state but to campaign for Gov. Newsom ahead of his recall election.
However, since his Sept. 7 trip to New York, Biden made five trips to other states from the Northeast and Midwest that focused on him promoting his “Build Back Better” spending bill after House Democrats failed to pass his domestic agenda amid infighting. Biden’s weekends between Sept. 7 and Thursday’s trip to Baltimore for the town hall saw the president having 4 R&R trips — once to his beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, twice to his Wilmington home, and one weekend spent at Camp David.
While Biden has spent a total of about 70 days away from the White House, illegal border crossings skyrocketed, reaching the highest level in decades. New unpublished data obtained by the Washington Post showed that the U.S detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the border during the 2021 fiscal year of October 2020 and September 2021. In the nine months since Biden took office, more than 1.3 million migrants were apprehended — figures more than three times the average of FY2012-2020 and numbers that soared to the highest levels ever recorded in 35 years.
During the onset of the border crisis, Biden dismissed the growing problem, claiming the rise in spring 2021 was consistent from previous fiscal years due to seasonal norms and would go down in the summer. However, that assertion was proven to be false as the highest level of migrants apprehended this Fiscal Year 21 occurring during the two hottest months of the year — July and August. Both months each exceeded over 200,000 migrants at the border taken into CBP custody.