Arizona Gov. Ducey asks Biden to give clearer messaging amid border surge
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is calling upon President Joe Biden to be louder in his efforts to deter migrants from coming to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“He’s got a big microphone, he needs to use it appropriately,” Ducey told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz during an interview Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopolus.”
This morning, Biden DHS Secretary @SecMayorkas claimed "the border is secure"
The situation unfolding at the border is a crisis and DC is completely divorced from reality
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) March 21, 2021
“He certainly can communicate more often, more clearly and he should be talking to [Mexico’s] President [Andres Manuel Lopez] Obrador,” Ducey said.
Since Biden’s inauguration, the U.S. has seen a dramatic spike in the number of people encountered by border officials. There were 18,945 family members and 9,297 unaccompanied children encountered in February — an increase of 168% and 63%, respectively, from the month before, according to the Pew Research Center.
The governor said the Biden administration’s reversal of Trump immigration policies, such as the migrant protection protocols, is part of the cause of the surge.
“It was working,” Ducey said. “It disincentivized people from taking this dangerous trip.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas refuted claims that the administration’s messaging is encouraging the influx of migrants and said that the border remains protected.
“The message is quite clear — do not come,” Mayorkas told ABC News. “The border is closed, the border is secure. We are expelling families, we are expelling single adults under the CDC’s authority … because we are in the midst of the pandemic and that is a public health imperative. We are encouraging children not to come, now is not the time to come.”
Ducey visited the U.S.-Mexico border in Douglas on Friday to asses the situation and discuss the crisis with local leaders. He was joined by U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, a fellow Republican, as well as several state lawmakers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.