Biden says he hasn’t had time to visit southern border, admits he probably should

President Joe Biden said on Thursday night that he hasn’t had time to visit the southern border to address the surge in illegal immigrants and admitted that he “should go down.”

“I’ve been there before, I know it well, I guess I should go down,” Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper during a town hall event. “The whole point of it is, I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down.”

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 21: U.S. President Joe Biden walks with first lady Jill Biden prior to a Marine One departure for Baltimore, Maryland, October 21, 2021 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Biden is scheduled to participate in a town hall in Baltimore where he will discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and Build Back Better agenda with Americans. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 21: U.S. President Joe Biden walks with first lady Jill Biden prior to a Marine One departure for Baltimore, Maryland, October 21, 2021 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Biden is scheduled to participate in a town hall in Baltimore where he will discuss the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and Build Back Better agenda with Americans. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden blamed the damage done by hurricanes and his trips to visit affected areas as a reason why he has not yet visited the border.

It is not clear whether or not Biden has ever traveled to the border as a senator, vice-president, or concerned citizen, and multiple queries from Fox News to the White House have not produced an answer.

A Central American migrant is apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Legislation that would grant a path to citizenship to young immigrants brought to the U.S as children has triggered a fresh round of partisan skirmishes over border security, as the fate of a program shielding them from deportation hangs in the balance. Photographer: Nicolo Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Central American migrant is apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande in Roma, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Legislation that would grant a path to citizenship to young immigrants brought to the U.S as children has triggered a fresh round of partisan skirmishes over border security, as the fate of a program shielding them from deportation hangs in the balance. Photographer: Nicolo Filippo Rosso/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Getty Images)

GARLAND CAN’T BALLPARK NUMBER OF ILLEGAL MIGRANTS DOJ IS CURRENTLY PROSECUTING

The migrant crisis at the southern border continues to plague the Biden administration, and recent data show arrests by Border Patrol have soared to the highest levels since 1986.

U.S. authorities detained more than 1.7 million migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border during the 2021 fiscal year, which ended in September, according to CBP data obtained by the Washington Post

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MIGRANTS GATHERING ON SOUTHERN BORDER AHEAD OF ‘REMAIN-IN-MEXICO’ RESTART, SOURCES SAY

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday did not have an answer to a question about how many migrants the Justice Department is prosecuting for illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, which is a federal crime.

At least 160,000 illegal immigrants have been released into the U.S., often with little to no supervision, by the Biden administration since March – including a broad use of limited parole authorities to make more than 30,000 eligible for work permits since August, Border Patrol documents obtained by Fox News earlier this month showed.

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FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2021, file photo migrants, many from Haiti, board a bus after they were processed and released after spending time at a makeshift camp near the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas. President Joe Biden embraced major progressive policy goals on immigration after he won the Democratic nomination, and he has begun enacting some. But his administration has been forced to confront unusually high numbers of migrants trying to enter the country along the U.S.-Mexico border and the federal response has inflamed both critics and allies. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

FILE – In this Sept. 20, 2021, file photo migrants, many from Haiti, board a bus after they were processed and released after spending time at a makeshift camp near the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas. President Joe Biden embraced major progressive policy goals on immigration after he won the Democratic nomination, and he has begun enacting some. But his administration has been forced to confront unusually high numbers of migrants trying to enter the country along the U.S.-Mexico border and the federal response has inflamed both critics and allies. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Border Patrol sources told Fox News that as many as 60,000 migrants are massing on the Mexican side and intend to enter the U.S. in the coming days, knowing that the Biden administration intends to re-implement the Trump-era policy next month in response to a court order from a federal judge that was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Fox News’ Emma Colton, Bill Melugin and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report
 

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