Donald Trump has lashed out at President Joe Biden, calling his border policy ‘outrageous’ and ‘inhumane’ after Biden accused him of letting migrant children ‘starve to death’.
At his press conference on Thursday, Biden had said: ‘The idea that I’m going to say, which I would never do, if an unaccompanied child ends up at the border, we’re just going to let them starve to death and stay on the other side — no previous administrations did either, except Trump.’
‘First of all, it’s just the opposite,’ Trump said in response to Biden’s remark in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
‘By the time we finished what we were doing [on the border], very few people were coming up because they knew they weren’t going to get through. We stopped ‘catch and release’ — which was a disaster,’ said Trump.
‘What they are doing now is outrageous. And they should finish the wall,’ he added regarding a massive surge in illegal border crossings, particularly by unaccompanied minors, that has overwhelmed Border Patrol in recent weeks.
Donald Trump has lashed out at President Joe Biden, calling his border policy ‘outrageous’ and ‘inhumane’ after Biden accused him of letting migrant children ‘starve to death’
President Joe Biden suggested that Trump let migrant children ‘starve to death’ at the border
‘What you’re seeing now is inhumane,’ Trump said of hastily constructed migrant holding facilities that are filled far above capacity. ‘A tremendous number of children, they’re living on top of each other in squalor.’
‘That’s why they won’t allow the press to come in. We let the press come in… but they’re living in very dangerous conditions,’ Trump added.
‘They can’t be allowed to destroy our country, and at the southern border, they are destroying our country,’ Trump continued.
Trump also slammed the White House press for ‘softball’ questions at Biden’s first press conference.
‘There were strange questions and they were asked in a very interesting way, they were softballs,’ he said. ‘It’s very sad to watch, they’re feeding them questions, they’re easy questions.’
Trump also continued to remain coy about the possibility of forming his own social media platform, after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in January in response to the U.S. Capitol riot.
‘I have a lot of options,’ he said. ‘We might open up our own platform.’
However Trump sounded noncommittal, again praising his new mode of issuing press statements as superior to tweeting.
‘What I’m doing now, I almost like it better,’ he said of issuing press statements. ‘You do it less and you do it better.’
Trump ripped the Biden White House for what he called an ‘absolute embarrassment’ at a summit with Chinese officials in Anchorage, Alaska, last week.
National Security Adviser Jacob Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a diplomatic meeting with top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi, who harshly scolded the American side for racial divisions and unrest in the country.
‘We never had anything like that happen… That was an absolute embarrassment to our country. I could not believe it,’ Trump said of the meeting.
‘We should have walked out. Nobody ever talked to my group that way, have nobody ever talked to me that way, I can tell you that.’
‘What Joe Biden said at that press conference is a detestable lie,’ Stephen Miller said. ‘It’s not just a smear against President Trump. It’s a smear against the patriotic border agents
‘What Joe Biden said at that press conference is a detestable lie,’ Miller told Fox News. ‘It’s not just a smear against President Trump. It’s a smear against the patriotic border agents who saved the lives, who rescued unaccompanied minors and got them safely back home.’
Miller defended the Trump administration’s policy of returning unaccompanied minors to their country of origin, accusing Biden’s administration of truly ‘separating families.’
‘If you came here as a 15-year-old from Honduras and Border Patrol apprehended you, they would then process you, put you on a chartered flight paid for by the U.S. Government, send you back to your home country, meet up with social services in Honduras, work with our State Department to get you back with your own family,’ Miller said of Trump policies.
‘Joe Biden is separating these families, stranding them in the United States, and sending the message not just to Central America, but to the whole world that if you split off your family, if you send someone here 17 or younger alone, they will stay here for life,’ he added.
‘His [Biden’s] administration, in writing, terminated the reunification policy we had in place to send unaccompanied minors back to their home countries wherever they may come from,’ Miller continued.
‘He [Biden] terminated that policy in writing, that’s not in dispute. I guess he doesn’t know, or his staff is lying to him so that he then can mislead the country,’ said Miller.
Migrants lie on mattresses inside a temporary processing facility for migrants, including unaccompanied minors, in Donna, Texas in a Biden administration handout photo
‘We didn’t need surge facilities to hold tens, hundreds of thousands of people the way that we are going, because we had a process for returning them — be it to Mexico, Central America, or elsewhere. He [Biden] dismantled that process, invited the surge, and now he has nowhere to put them,’ Miller said.
Miller is viewed as the mastermind of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy during the Trump administration that saw all illegal border crossers arrested, resulting in parents being separated from children. The policy was rescinded after fierce backlash.
Biden said on Thursday he would not apologize for rolling back immigration policies of his Republican predecessor that undermined ‘human dignity’ and brushed off criticism that migrants were making the journey to the southern border because they perceived him to be a ‘nice guy.’
While he mostly struck an empathetic tone, he said the United States was expelling the vast majority of migrants, including families, under a COVID-19 public health order.
The Trump-era order allows border agents to rapidly expel migrants without giving them a chance to claim asylum, but it has angered civil rights groups, who say it is illegal.
The number of migrants caught at the border has climbed sharply in recent weeks, thrusting Biden into an emerging humanitarian and political crisis a little more than two months after he took office.
Asylum seeking migrant families and unaccompanied minors from Central America take refuge in a makeshift U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing center in Texas
The migrants include a rising number of unaccompanied minors, who have not been subject to the pandemic-related expulsion policy.
As of Tuesday, nearly 5,000 children were backed up in crowded border stations awaiting transfers to overwhelmed federal shelters.
Biden said he would not leave children stranded at the border.
‘I make no apologies for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became president that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity,’ he said.
U.S. Border Patrol caught roughly 100,000 migrants at the border in February, the highest monthly level since a spike in mid-2019.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last week that illegal border crossings are on pace for the highest level in 20 years.