FACT CHECK: Post Misleads On Illegal Immigration
A post shared on Facebook purports there’s been a 90% decrease in illegal immigration since President Joe Biden took office.
The post misrepresents a statistic White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referenced during a May 1 briefing. Jean-Pierre said unlawful migration from Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, not overall border crossings, had decreased 90% due to a parolee program implemented by the Biden administration.
An eight-year-old girl reportedly died after experiencing a medical emergency while in federal U.S. custody in Harlingen, Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials said, according to CBS News. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol also said it would be conducting an investigation following the child’s death, The Hill reported.
The post claims Jean-Pierre allegedly lied during her briefing and said overall border crossings had decreased 90% since Biden took office. The post further claims the opposite is true and that border crossings have increased 171% since Biden took office, with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol apprehending 223,303 illegal immigrants in February 2023.
The claim is misleading. When Jean-Pierre mentioned the 90% decrease in illegal immigration during her May 1 press briefing, she referenced a parolee program implemented by the Biden administration.
“We actually deal with the immigration system in a humane way, and in a way that…actually deals with what we’re seeing at the border. And that’s why you’ve seen the parolee program be so successful,” Jean-Pierre said. “When it comes to illegal migration, you’ve seen it come down by more than 90 percent, and that’s because of this act- — the actions that this President has taken.”
Jean-Pierre also reiterated she was referring to the parolee program, when she mentioned the 90% decrease in illegal immigration during a briefing the next day while responding to a question from Fox News’ White House Correspondent Peter Doocy. (RELATED: Does Video Show Migrants Attempting To Cross The US-Mexico Border In May 2023?)
Biden’s administration implemented the parolee program back in October 2022 for migrants from Venezuela. In January 2023, the administration expanded the program to include migrants from Haiti, Cuba, and Nicaragua. The program allows up to 30,000 individuals per month from the aforementioned countries to enter the U.S. for two years and obtain work authorization if they have an eligible sponsor and can pass vetting and background checks.
Furthermore, data from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol shows 155,656 land encounters occurring in February 2023. Additional data indicates 22,755 migrants from Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua were paroled into the country.
Check Your Fact has contacted the White House and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.