Texas Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat, said that he does not believe the surge of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border is a ‘seasonal phenomenon’ as the White House claims.
“It’s not seasonal,” the Texas Democrat said on MSNBC. “Now, we do have the months of March, April, May, June that are peak months, but this is not seasonal.”
Throughout March, Border agents reportedly encountered over 172,000 migrants, the highest number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border since March of 2001.
During a March 25 press conference, President Biden defended his administration’s immigration orders such as pausing construction of the border wall, reversing former President Trump’s ‘remain-in-Mexico policy, and Biden’s vocal support for a clear pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already residing in the U.S.
Critics argue that these factors led to the surge in illegal immigration.
“It happens every year,” Biden told reporters. “Does anybody suggest that there was a 31 percent increase under Trump because he was a nice guy and he was doing good things at the border? That’s not the reason they’re coming.”
Reuters reportedly interviewed over two dozen migrants and self-identified smugglers, with one Guatemalan smuggler stating, “There’s 100 days of free passage across the border.” According to media outlets, this is a false perception many of the migrants share.
“Supposedly the president is letting children in,” another interviewee told Reuters.
The Biden administration has said that most asylum-seekers have been turned away at the border, although the administration will continue to allow unaccompanied minors into the U.S.
During March, border agents encountered just under 19,000 unaccompanied minors, the highest number to be recorded in a single month.
“You all have one thing in common, courage,” President Biden said in a video congratulating the nation’s newest citizens released April 5. “The courage it takes to sacrifice and make this journey. The courage to leave your homes, your lives, your loved ones, and come to a nation that is more than just a place but rather an idea.”