A top immigration adviser to President Joe Biden may have sent signals to migrants in Mexico and Central America that the U.S. border is open during a press conference on Wednesday.
In addition, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson appeared to unwittingly confirm that former President Donald Trump’s tough border enforcement policies were effective.
According to Austin Landis, the White House and immigration correspondent for Spectrum, during a response Jacobson gave in Spanish she said, “La frontera no esta cerrada” — which, translated, is “the border is NOT closed.”
She then quickly changed course, however, and said “la frontera esta cerrada,” meaning the border is closed.
Amb. Jacobson just switched to Spanish again, correcting herself:
“La frontera está cerrada.”
'"The border is closed." pic.twitter.com/rgSOJExI9n
— Austin Landis (@_AustinLandis) March 10, 2021
The misstatement was confirmed by Jorge Bonilla, director of Media Research Center Latino (MRCLatino).
“The perils of code-switching, and a major gaffe by Roberta Jacobson whilst warning migrants not to make the journey to the U.S.: ‘So I believe that it’s very important to highlight that THE BORDER IS NOT CLOSED…,’” Bonilla wrote on Twitter with a clip of Jacobson’s response.
Meanwhile, a clip posted by producer, director, and Tennessee GOP congressional candidate Robby Starbuck shows Jacobson appearing to confirm, in a roundabout manner, that Trump’s immigration enforcement policies were effective and that current Biden policies emphasizing lax, “more humane” policies are causing the current crush of illegal immigrants and migrant children.
“Do you think it’s a coincidence that as soon as Trump and his immigration policy were on the way out and Biden and his stated policy were on the way in, this historic surge at the border started?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked.
A Biden official just admitted that Biden’s border policy is responsible for the surge of a record # of children at our border. pic.twitter.com/7kVTt6mqqU
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) March 10, 2021
“Well, first of all, one of the things that I think is important is we’ve seen surges before,” Jacobson began. “Surges tend to respond to hope. And there was a significant hope for a more humane policy after four years of…pent-up demand.
“So, I don’t know whether I would call that a coincidence, but I certainly think that the idea that a more humane policy would be in place may have made people to make that decision” to cross into the U.S. now, she continued.
On Biden’s first days in office, he signed a stack of pre-prepared executive orders and actions reversing nearly all of Trump’s immigration and border enforcement policies, including halting construction of the wall and ending the former president’s successful “Remain in Mexico” plan, which required migrants to stay south of the border until their cases were adjudicated in the U.S.
In sum, Trump’s border enforcement initiatives have been widely credited with halting migrant surges in 2018 and early 2019 and disincentivizing migrants to make the often dangerous, sometimes deadly, trek north via the human and drug smuggling cartels.
“If they think a radio ad in Guatemala or some rhetoric from the podium in Washington, D.C. is going to keep people from trying to enter the United States, they’re just fooling themselves, and what I really regret is they have absolutely no plan,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week in an interview with Fox News.
“They underestimated this. They had no plan to deal with it, and this is in the face of a pandemic right now,” he added.
The First TV’s Jesse Kelly made a similar observation on his Wednesday program.
“There’s no covering up what’s happening on the border,” he said. “What’s happening on the border is because of Democrat open-border rhetoric. We are being flooded — flooded — overrun by illegal immigrants. And the reason the system can’t contain that truth is they have so many illegal immigrants on the border, they’re now being pushed into American cities.”
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