Not long after giving his first address to Congress, President Joe Biden sat down with NBC on Thursday and continued his apparent attempt to dismiss or entirely ignore the ongoing migrant crisis at the United States’ southern border.
First, Biden repeated his reference to a “seasonal” spike in illegal border crossings and placed the blame squarely at the feet of the Trump administration.
“The two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the immigration and the Defense Department,” Biden told NBC.
Regarding Biden’s latest NBC interview, The Washington Examiner noted, “It is unclear whether Biden meant the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Health and Human Services,” when he said “immigration,” given that both departments are “are responsible for migrant children at different points of the process, from apprehension to release to a parent or guardian or otherwise.”
Biden then added that “They didn’t have beds,” and, “They didn’t plan for the overflow.”
This mimicked the style of Biden’s debunked claims regarding the Trump administration’s lack of action and preparation regarding the vaccine effort, when he falsely stated that the Trump administration had “failed to order enough vaccines” and that there was “no real plan to vaccinate most of the country” when the president assumed office in January.
As FactCheck.org pointed out, the Trump administration “had contracts in place for plenty of vaccines for all Americans” and “There was indeed a plan to acquire and distribute vaccines.”
Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Jacobs also reported that Biden was asked about his campaign promise to reunite the hundreds of children who had been separated from their parents by the Trump administration and why, “according to our reporting,” not one child has been reunited with their families during the president’s first 100 days.
“I don’t think that’s true, but that could be,” Biden responded.
Q During campaign, you pledged to reunite 100s of children who had been separated from their parents by the previous admin. According to our reporting, in your first 100 days, not one child has been reunited.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) April 30, 2021
“The thing is, we don’t know yet where those kids are. We’re trying like hell to figure out what happened. It’s almost like being a sleuth,” Biden added.
In October 2020, Bloomberg News reported that “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign announced that he would create a task force on his first day in office that would work to reunite the migrant children that the Trump administration separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border.”
“What happened? Their kids were ripped from their arms and separated and now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents and those kids are alone. Nowhere to go. It’s criminal,” Biden said during a debate.
On February 2, Biden signed an executive order “to launch a long-awaited task force to reunite families separated at the border under the Trump administration.”
On April 7, however, Axios reported that “Not one of the hundreds of migrant families separated from President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy has been reunited under President Biden thus far.”
“Regarding the reunifications thus far, the task force has not directly reunified any families yet, and that’s because we really are trying to build the processes and the information,” a senior DHS official said, according to Axios.