Former Vice President Joe Biden blamed President Donald Trump for the flood of illegal immigrants and migrants crossing the border.
“This is a crisis created by Trump, this is a crisis created by the administration, and that’s why you know he keeps these hordes coming,” Biden said on Thursday.
The former vice president spoke about the crisis over a taco lunch with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, arguing to send hundreds of millions of dollars to countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
“If you make schools better, if you make the streets safer, if you put in street lights, if you provide for alternatives for people that are fleeing now because of what they don’t have while they are being victimized, that’s the way to keep people from going,” he said.
Biden recalled working as vice president with members of Congress in both parties to send $750 million to Central American countries.
“You got to help grow the economies and the president just cut that all off, it was working,” he said.
Biden appeared angered by Trump’s rhetoric on immigration, demanding that the president stop characterizing immigrants as dangerous.
“The idea that we’re trying to scare the living devil out of the American public … it’s just simply wrong,” he said.
At one point, Biden appeared to compare migrants getting smuggled into the United States by coyotes with immigrants like his great-great-grandfather who traveled to the United States on a ship from Ireland.
Look, the reason we’re the incredible country that we are is because we’ve been able to cherry-pick the best from every single culture in the world, it’s why we’re so different. For people to get in a boat, whether it was my great-great grandfather who got on a coffin ship in the Irish Sea or someone in Mexico or in El Salvador today saying, I can see it now, ‘I got a great idea for the family, lets go ahead and sell everything we have, lets hire a coyote, lets risk our lives and go across the border, won’t that be fun.’ Everybody in your parents who came here, grandparents who came here, great grandparents who came here, they’re people with the notion of absolutely resilient, people who are confident, people who want to do things, that’s why we’re who the hell we are.
Biden said he would detail additional plans to address the border crisis in the future, but said it was important to increase the ability for United States officials to determine whether migrants qualified for asylum.
“We have to significantly increase the capacity to be able to determine quickly, whether or not you qualify, whether you qualify when you come across the border to be able to stay here, that you’re actually leaving something that puts you in jeopardy,” he said.