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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ripped White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Tuesday for claiming illegal immigration decreased 90% under President Joe Biden.
Jean-Pierre made the claim that illegal immigration declined by 90% under the Biden administration during Monday’s press briefing. The Biden administration is deploying 1,500 troops to the border to prepare for a potential surge in illegal immigrants following the planned May 11 end to the use of Title 42, a policy used during the Trump administration to quickly expel illegal immigrants, a U.S. official previously confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Let’s do some simple math. In the year 2020, the last year of the Trump presidency, we had the lowest rate of illegal immigration in 45 years. We were, achieving incredible success in securing our border,” Cruz told Fox Business Network host Larry Kudlow. “Joe Biden came in. He opened up the border and within days of his being sworn in the numbers skyrocketed. We have today, we went from the lowest rate of illegal immigration to the highest rate in history.”
Over 1.2 million illegal immigrants have been encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border during fiscal year 2023, according to data released by United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), following 2,378,944 encounters in fiscal year 2022 and 1,734,686 in fiscal year 2021. Another 600,000 migrants evaded CBP in fiscal year 2022, Fox News reported.
CBP encountered 458,088 illegal migrants in fiscal year 2020, the last full year of the Trump administration.
Jean-Pierre repeated the claim Tuesday when pressed by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy.
“You said yesterday that when it comes to illegal migration, you’ve seen it come down by more than 90%,” Doocy asked Jean-Pierre. “Where did that number come from? Because CBP is telling us that number is 136,000 people more-”
Jean-Pierre cut Doocy off, accusing him of using “dramatics” while questioning her.
“I was speaking to the parolee program. As you know, the president put in place a parolee program to deal with certain countries on ways we can limit illegal migration,” Jean Pierre said. “And we have seen, the data has shown, that it has gone down by more than 90%. That’s what I was speaking to.”
“She says that all the time,” Cruz said about Jean-Pierre’s claim. “She’s also stood at the podium and said ‘people are not just walking across the border.’ You’re playing next to me videos of people swimming across the river, walking across the border. You’re playing that right now. She just flat-out lies.”
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