Sen. Tom Cotton on Sunday accused President Joe Biden of inviting a recent surge of migrants to the United States, claiming the border is "wide open."
In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," the Arkansas Republican said Biden had dismantled "highly effective" policies in securing the southern border with Mexico and that the measures should be revived.
Cotton, one of Congress’s most outspoken immigration and foreign policy hawks, slammed Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who made the Sunday political talk show circuit to defend the administration’s policy of not expelling unaccompanied minors reaching the U.S. border with Mexico.
"He’s basically saying the United States will not secure our border and that is a big welcome sign to migrants from across the world," Cotton said.
Cotton’s comments underscored the political pressure growing on Biden to address the growing surge of migrants reaching the southern border. In February, U.S. border agents apprehended more than 100,000 people, a 28 percent increase from January.
A repeated talking point by Mayorkas on Sunday was that the Trump administration, which took a hard line on border policy, was to blame because it "dismantled the orderly, humane and efficient way" of dealing with the migrant children. Mayorkas said the U.S. was expelling families and adults but will not turn back "young, vulnerable children." He said the U.S. was working to address the issue with Mexico and Central American countries where the asylum seekers are coming from.
Cotton said Biden should embrace the Trump administration’s policies to address the situation at the border.
Cotton said Biden should reinstate a "public health" restriction that he lifted for minors reaching the border. Cotton said Biden should also embrace Trump-era policies intended to keep pending asylum seekers in Mexico and force migrants to make asylum claims in the first country they pass through.
"Joe Biden could reimpose all three of those things this week if he wanted to," Cotton said.
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