A South American migrant who recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border said he did so “basically” because Joe Biden was elected president and would not have tried to cross under former President Donald Trump.
The man spoke to ABC “This Week” anchor Martha Raddatz at the border in Tucson, Arizona, saying he traveled from Brazil to Mexico with his wife and their three kids with the hope of entering the U.S.
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“Would you have tried to do this when Donald Trump was president?” Raddatz asks the man in a clip aired Sunday and tweeted by Steve Guest, a special advisor to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
“Definitely not,” replies the migrant, who asked that his face not be shown.
“Did you come here because Joe Biden was elected president?” Raddatz asks.
“Basically,” he says.
The man elaborates that violence in his country was the main reason for uprooting his family and coming to the U.S. border, adding that Biden was his second reason for making the dangerous trip.
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In another clip, a migrant who traveled from Guatemala with her 10-year-old son tells Raddatz in Juarez, Mexico, that she made the trip now because “Biden promised that we could cross with minors.”
Raddatz reported that the mother and her son were being sent back to Guatemala.
Migrants have surged the U.S. border in recent weeks after Biden took office and rolled back some of Trump’s measures, an act interpreted by some as a signal to travel to the U.S.
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Biden’s administration is now scrambling to manage the humanitarian and political challenge of the migrant surge at the border.
Law enforcement encountered more than 100,000 migrants at the border in February, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which was a 28% increase from January.
Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” blamed the migrant surge on the Trump administration, not Biden’s policy changes.
Officials are trying to build up the capacity to care for some 14,000 migrants now in federal custody — and more likely on the way.
Fox News’ Griff Jenkins, Tyler Olson and Marisa Schultz, along with The Associated Press contributed to this report.