Biden says he would be 'flattered' if migrants are coming to the US because they know he's a 'good guy': Blames Trump for 'dismantling' the immigration system in first press conference since taking office

 President Joe Biden on Thursday said he would be 'flattered' if migrants were coming to the United States because of him as he was grilled about his border policy during the first formal press conference of his presidency.

He also ridiculed the idea the surge in migrants at the border is because he's a 'nice guy.'

'Look, I guess I should be flattered that people are coming because I am the nice guy, that that is why they are coming, that I am a decent man or however it was phrased. That that is why they are coming, because Biden is a decent guy. But the truth is nothing has changed,' he said. 

Biden was referring to Republican arguments that the migration surge is because of his more 'humane' policies. Republicans also claim that the border surge is because Biden rolled back some of former President Donald Trump's stricter policies. 

But the president claimed he was dealing with the fallout from his predecessor, saying Trump dismantled the immigration system.

'He dismantled all the elements that exist to deal with what has been a problem and has continued to be a problem for a long time,' Biden said of Trump. 'In fact, he shut down the number of beds available.'

Biden also repeated his argument that Trump is to blame for the thousand of migrants trying to cross into the United States as his administration struggles with what to do in the surge of migrant crossigns.

'Does anybody suggest there was a 31% increase under Trump because he was a nice guy and he was doing good things at the border? That's not the reason they are coming. The reason they are coming is that it's the time they can travel with the least likelihood of dying on the way because of the heat and the desert, number one. Number two, they are coming because of the circumstances in-country,' he said. 

Biden took questions for nearly an hour in his first presidential press conference, answering multiple queries from the Associated Press, PBS, The Washington Post, ABC News, Wall Street Journal, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, Bloomberg, Univision. 

He was grilled on a number of topics, including the situation at the border, the Senate filibuster, working with Republicans, his 2024 re-election plans and Afghanistan - but received no questions on the coronavirus pandemic.  

He grew testy at a few times but maintained his folksy attitude throughout much of the back-and-forth. His voice sounded hoarse as he answered questions from reporters he called on from a list he had on the podium. Sometimes he paused and sounded tentative as he spoke. Other times he flipped through a binder he had with him on the podium.

'Folks, I'm going,' he said as he ended the event.  

The border policy and images of children crossing over from Mexico dominated the event. In his remarks, Biden claimed that President Trump left children to starve on the border although it's unclear what he was referring to.

'Look, the idea that I'm going to say, which I would never do, if an unaccompanied child ends up at the border we are just going to let them starve to death and stay on the other side. No previous administration did that, either. Except Trump. I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to do it,' he said.

He expressed no regret for signing executive orders that rolled back Trump policies and for stopping construction on Trump's border wall.

'First of all, all of the policies that were underway did not help at all, did not slow up the amount of immigration, as many people coming. Rolling back the policies of separating children from their mothers? I make no apology for that. Rolling back the policies of remain in Mexico sitting on the edge of the Rio Grande, the muddy circumstances, not enough to eat. I make no apologies for that. I make no apologies for ending programs that did not exist before Trump became president that have an incredibly negative impact on the law, international law, as well as on human dignity. And so I make no apologies for that,' he said.

He was referring to Trump's decision to separate migrant children from their families, a policy that came under heavy criticism and was eventually repealed by Trump. 

More than 16,500 unaccompanied migrant children were in federal custody as of early Wednesday, according to CBS News. More than 11,500 of those children were being housed in shelters and emergency housing sites, while another 5,000 were stranded in overcrowded Border Patrol facilities.

President Joe Biden ridiculed the idea the surge in migrants at the border is because he's a 'nice guy' as he kicked off his first formal press conference

President Joe Biden ridiculed the idea the surge in migrants at the border is because he's a 'nice guy' as he kicked off his first formal press conference

President Biden addresses surge of migrants at the border
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President Joe Biden leaves after his first presidential news conference, a binder under his arm

President Joe Biden leaves after his first presidential news conference, a binder under his arm

He also committed to letting the press into the shelters on the border holding migrant children, including the shelters where there is overcrowding and not enough bed.

And he said he hasn't visited the border yet because of the large amount of people that travel with him as president. He has sent administration officials to the border to observe the situation and report back.

'One of the reasons I haven't gone down, my chief folks have gone down, is I don't want to become the issue. I don't want to be bringing all the Secret Service and everybody with me to get in the way. So this is being set up and you will have full access to everything once we get this thing moving,' he said.

Biden says he would be 'flattered' if migrants are coming to the US because they know he's a 'good guy': Blames Trump for 'dismantling' the immigration system in first press conference since taking office Biden says he would be 'flattered' if migrants are coming to the US because they know he's a 'good guy': Blames Trump for 'dismantling' the immigration system in first press conference since taking office Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:28 Rating: 5

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