United States (US) President Joe Biden pushed back Thursday at claims the flow of undocumented immigrants at the US southern border has reached crisis levels, saying the surge is a mostly seasonal problem that happens each year.
“There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. It happens every year,” he said in his first press conference since taking office.
Pushing back on criticisms that he has opened the door to undocumented immigrants, Biden said his government is committed to allowing unaccompanied migrant children to enter the United States for humanitarian reasons.
More than 9,000 came in February, a number on track to top 14,000 this month, swamping facilities of the US Customs and Border Patrol for processing them.
He also said that the United States is allowing a number of families to enter because Mexico is refusing to accept their return.
“We are sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming,” Biden said.
“They should all be going back.”