President Joe Biden addressed the media on Tuesday and as the press conference closed, reporters questioned him on the spike in illegal immigrants during his term and the possibility of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) sending migrants to his home state of Delaware.
It initially appeared that Biden was going to leave the room without answering the questions, but as he reached the door, he turned to the media and had a reporter repeat her question.
“Why is the border more overwhelmed under your watch, Mr. President?” asked the reporter.
“There are fewer and fewer immigrants coming from Central America than from Mexico,” the president answered. “It’s a totally different circumstance.”
“What’s on my watch now is Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and the ability to send them back to those states is not rational,” he went on. “We’re working with Mexico and other countries to see if we can stop the flow.”
Biden again turned to leave the press room amid a flurry of questions.
One reporter asked if the president had a comment about the possibility of DeSantis sending migrants to Biden’s home state of Delaware.
Halfway out the door at this point, Biden turned and remarked, “He should come visit.”
“We have a beautiful shoreline,” he added, before leaving the room.
Asked about reports that GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is potentially planning to send migrants to his home state of Delaware, Pres. Biden responds, “He should come visit. We have a beautiful shoreline.” https://t.co/6tAdNeTAvB pic.twitter.com/dF5rN9AOYH
— ABC News (@ABC) September 20, 2022
The questions come as DeSantis faces backlash for transporting migrants from Florida to the small Massachusetts community of Martha’s Vineyard, where the Obamas have a residence. Police in San Antonio, where the migrants initially began their journey, opened a criminal investigation into the matter for what they framed as migrants being “lured under false pretenses.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is under similar scrutiny for relocating migrants out of Texas. Most recently, he bussed migrants to Washington, D.C., and dropped them off near the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris.
Both governors have pushed back on the criticism, blaming the Biden administration for mishandling the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to Customs and Border Patrol, they are seeing historical highs in the number of people crossing the border, with almost 2.15 million immigrants apprehended at the border this year.
The number of immigrants from Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have all hit record highs over the past year and a half. With the significant humanitarian crises occurring in these countries, Biden is positing that it is not feasible to send the people back to their home countries.