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FIRST ON FOX: The Republican National Committee (RNC) releases the first in a series of videos that focuses on the ongoing crisis on the southern border and the Biden administration’s handling of it – just as the numbers rise ahead of another surge expected this summer.
The first video in the series, titled ‘Unchecked; 2 Million’ references the number of migrant encounters in calendar year 2021 – and blames the massive number encountered last year, which overwhelmed the officer border patrol, to the policies of the new administration.
“It’s plain and simple: Joe Biden is causing pain and suffering on the border. The failures of Biden and ‘border czar’ Kamala Harris have put our law enforcement at risk, leaving them defending an open border with drugs, human trafficking and rising crime,” said RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel in a statement, “Every community is a border community under Biden, as drugs and crime move across the country.”
The Biden administration has blamed the surge, which saw several months of more than 200,000 encounters last year, on root causes in Central America like poverty, violence and climate change. He also blamed the end of legal asylum pathways by the Trump administration. But officials have warned that the root cause strategy will take time to succeed.
“But none of this is just going to be about flipping a switch,” Harris said in February. “It requires focus, it requires intention, it requires investment over a period of time, which means, in the short term, you’re not going to see the benefits overnight – because the problems didn’t happen overnight.”
Republicans, however, linked the push to administration policies, including ending construction of the border wall, attempts to end the “stay in Mexico policy” and restricting the application of the internal immigration.
The video includes interviews with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Ron Vitiello, and City Hall reporter Julio Rosas , who have all spent time on the border, as they discuss the impact of the sky-high numbers seen in 2021.
“We are seeing a human rights catastrophe, we are seeing a public health catastrophe, we are seeing a crime and national security catastrophe,” Cruz said.
“Every part of America has been affected, you have migrants going to every corner of the country,” Gonzales said.
ARIZONA DEM SENATORS WARN BIDEN AGAINST ‘STRONG END’ OF TITLE 42 BORDER RESTRICTIONS WITHOUT PLAN
“We’ve never seen two million encounters in a year, it just never happened,” Vitiello says in the video.
The video focuses specifically on the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis, which it accuses of mishandling and downplaying the crisis. Cruz rejects the Democratic claim that immigration policies are humane: “They can only say that if they’re not looking at it firsthand.”
The video comes just as a looming move to renew the Title 42 public health order — which has been used by both the Trump and Biden administrations to deport a majority of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control will decide in the coming days whether to renew the order or end it. That’s sparked fears within the administration and among Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike that ending the policy will lead to an even bigger jump in the numbers.
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border patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said on Tuesday that the United States is currently on track to reach one million migrant encounters so far in fiscal year 2022 – and said “every sector is busier than it was only in 21”.
He also said officers met with migrants from 157 different countries.