The immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border is entirely the Biden administration’s fault, according to a Republican lawmaker.

During an interview with Fox News on Sunday, March 14, host Chris Wallace asked Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) how much blame the new administration deserves for the recent surge in apprehensions and crossings at the southern border, Cassidy responded, “Empirically, it’s entirely.”

Cassidy explained that the Biden administration’s policies and messaging, which signaled to migrants that the border was open, are causing the explosion of the crisis.

“When people think they can get in, they begin sending their unaccompanied child across Mexico, where she may be kidnapped and trafficked,” Cassidy said, alleging that immigration officials told migrants in Spanish that the border was “open.”

“There can be no equivocations when it comes to someone who is thinking of joining a caravan [bound for the U.S.],” he continued.

Cassidy’s remarks came after Wallace cited a statistic saying nearly 9,500 unaccompanied children were apprehended at the southern border in February, an increase of 171% from a year earlier.

With thousands of children being held in temporary shelters, the Customs and Border Patrol officials said earlier this month that the country is struggling with “the number of individuals in our custody, especially given the pandemic.”

Along with Cassidy, other Republicans have been criticizing the Biden administration for overturning the former President Donald Trump’s border policies, which include requiring immigrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases were resolved.

“Here along the border, we see that Biden’s policies created a border crisis. Because on the very first day of his administration, there wasn’t a plan to open up American schools or businesses. President Biden announced that it was his priority to offer citizenship to 11 million undocumented illegal immigrants. What did he think would happen?” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), while acknowledging there is a “humanitarian challenge” at the southern border, sought to shift the blame to former President Donald Trump, saying the Biden administration inherited the crisis from the previous administration.

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