White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre rejected criticism Tuesday from Republicans that the Biden administration is to blame for the human smuggling attempt that left at least 50 migrants dead in Texas, insisting that the southern border is “closed.”
At least 50 illegal immigrants are dead after an 18-wheeler smuggling them was found Monday night near San Antonio, Texas. It is one of the deadliest smuggling incidents from the U.S.-Mexico border in recent decades, according to The Associated Press.
“The fact of the matter is, the border is closed, which is in part why you see people trying to make this dangerous journey using smuggling networks. Forty-six people died in the state of Texas,” Jean-Pierre said Tuesday before the number of casualties in the Texas heat was updated.
“Their families are still learning they lost loves ones. … We’re focused on them, on the facts, and on holding the human smugglers who endangered vulnerable individuals for profit accountable,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, tweeted Monday that “[t]hese deaths are on Biden.”
But Jean-Pierre dismissed blame for what she called an “absolutely horrific and heartbreaking” event.
Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the Trump administration, and Tom Homan, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement during the Trump administration, said President Joe Biden’s border policies are to blame for the situation. [Morgan and Homan are visiting fellows at The Heritage Foundation, parent organization to The Daily Signal.]
“I know what it is like to stand in the back of a tractor-trailer with 19 dead migrants at my feet, including a 5-year-old boy that suffocated to death in 170-degree heat in a steel box in total blackness,” Homan said in a written statement shared with The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It changed me forever. This tragedy is worse.”
I have been warning for a year that a tragedy was going to occur because of the increase in truck smuggling, together with open borders, catch-and-release, and no chance of being deported. The most vulnerable people in the world will put themselves in the hands of criminal cartels to seek the promise that Biden and Mayorkas have made.
[Alejandro Mayorkas is Biden’s director of the Department of Homeland Security, parent agency to both CBP and ICE.]
Morgan said Biden hasn’t closed the border, and asserted that the president has done so purposefully.
“They know full well the costs of their open-borders policies, but are pursuing them anyway—all for political benefit and pursuit of their personal ideology,” Morgan said. “It’s disgusting. How many more Americans and migrants have to die before we say enough is enough and demand the Biden administration take back our borders from the cartels?”
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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