A Brazilian who crossed illegally into the U.S. with his wife and three children told ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz they never would have made the trip if former President Trump was still in office and his border enforcement policies remained in place.
During a segment for “This Week” that aired Sunday, the man told Raddatz point-blank that his decision to come illegally to the U.S. now hinged on the fact that Joe Biden became president.
“This father who asked we not show his face, traveled to Mexico from Brazil with his wife and three young kids before crossing the border,” Raddatz said during the segment. “Would you have tried to do this when Donald Trump was president?”
ABC's Martha Raddatz to illegal alien who crossed the border: "Would you have tried to do this when Donald Trump was president?"
Illegal alien: "Definitely not."
Raddatz: “Did you come here because Joe Biden was elected president?"
Illegal: “Basically” pic.twitter.com/OsxvdG8xO0
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 21, 2021
“Definitely not. Definitely. We had the chance, you know, but the same violence that’s going on today was there last year,” the man said, making clear that it was the altered political landscape in the U.S., primarily, rather than circumstances in his home country, that made the biggest difference.
“We used to watch the news, I definitely wouldn’t do this,” the illegal immigrant continued.
“Did you come here because Joe Biden was elected president?” Raddatz pressed.
“Basically. Basically,” the man responded. “The main thing was the violence in my country, and the second thing, I think, was Joe Biden. You know, it’s like it lightened up my hope, you know what I mean?”
President Biden has been blasted by Republicans and by former President Donald Trump himself for reversing several border enforcement and immigration-related policies that were seen as effective shortly after taking office Jan. 20.
In a statement released Sunday, Trump said his successor and staff are “in way over their heads and taking on water fast” regarding the migrant influx, adding that his administration “handed the Biden administration the most secure border in history.”
“All they had to do was keep this smooth-running system on autopilot. Instead, in the span of a just few weeks, the Biden administration has turned a national triumph into a national disaster. They are in way over their heads and taking on water fast,” the former president said.
Trump criticized Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas specifically following his appearances on a number of Sunday news programs in which he defended the Biden administration’s approach to the influx and appeared to lay blame at the previous administration’s policies.
“Now is not the time to come. Do not come, the journey is dangerous. We are building safe, orderly, and humane ways to address the needs of vulnerable children. Do not come,” Mayorkas said.
Trump labeled the DHS chief “pathetic,” “clueless,” “self-satisfied” and “incapable of leading” the department, calling his string of television appearances to discuss the latest on the border a “national disgrace.”
“It’s clear they are engaged in a huge cover-up to hide just how bad things truly are. The only way to end the Biden Border Crisis is for them to admit their total failure and adopt the profoundly effective, proven Trump policies,” the former president noted further, adding that “our country is being destroyed” by Biden’s approach to illegal immigration.