Biden pressed on migrant crisis at first news conference

Biden pressed on child migration at first news conference
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Washington. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: At his first official press conference as US President, Joe Biden was pressed on how he would address the surge in migrant crisis at the southern border.

More than 17,000 children are currently being kept in government detention centres and the president was challenged on whether his policies could be contributing to the increase in child arrivals.

Mr Biden defended his record and vowed to be transparent.

The hour-long event also covered subjects from foreign policy and gun issues.

Mr Biden also doubled his administration’s coronavirus vaccine rollout goal, saying that he now aims to have 200 million doses be given before his 100th day in office.

But questions about the migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border dominated the event.

During the White House news conference, president Biden blamed his predecessor Donald Trump for the growing humanitarian crisis on the southern border. Biden said it was normal for the United States to experience an influx of migrants in cooler months.

He said: “The truth of the matter is, nothing has changed.”

“The reason they’re coming is that it’s time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat in the desert,” he added.

He said he would like to think it’s because he is a nice guy, but it’s not, calling the surge a cyclical event.

He also blamed the “circumstances in their country,” including crime, lack of economic opportunity and natural disasters.

When being asked when he would make government-run detention centres open to visits from reporters, Joe Biden said he “will commit to transparency”.

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