KJP on San Antonio horror: It's a fact that the border is closed

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Fact checkers, start your engines. Or at least those fact checkers who still check facts on claims made by government officials, who seem to be a dying breed these days. After the deaths of at least 46 illegal immigrants in San Antonio, Texas and the worst human-trafficking disaster in recent memory, Governor Greg Abbott blamed Joe Biden and the 17-month border crisis that is still raging in his state and others along the border.

The official response from the White House is: Border crisis, you say? What border crisis?

It is not a fact that the border is closed, and it’s not a fact that this smuggling attempt proves it. We’ll get to both in a moment, but this is one strategy of many for breaching the border, and in this case it worked. The truck got through the border, didn’t it? How did that happen?

Our Townhall colleague Julio Rosas offered a quick fact check:

Julio should know. After all, unlike most of the media or anyone from the White House over the past 17 months, Julio regularly visits the border and reports on the border crisis and migration wave that has gone virtually unchecked since Biden took office. Less than two weeks ago, in fact, Julio reported that the crisis had broken yet another monthly record for intercepts, not to mention the got-aways:

The ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico international border continues to worsen. Evidence from U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) recent data release shows that Border Patrol encountered the highest number of illegal immigrants this past May compared to previous months.

Agents working along the southern border encountered 239,416 illegal immigrants, a historic record. To accommodate the staggering number, CBP had to increase the Y-axis on its line graph detailing border encounters. This is the second time this has happened during Joe Biden’s presidency.

Out of the over 200,000 migrants who illegally crossed the border, 100,699 of them were removed from the U.S. under Title 42. Over 177,000 people encountered by Border Patrol were first time crossers, a 15 percent jump compared to April.

A couple of weeks before that, Julio noted that the recent wave has been fueled in part by Biden’s effort to end pandemic-related Title 42 enforcement at the border. A judge forced the administration to keep it in place, but word hasn’t gotten to the wave of migrants hoping to take advantage of the opening:

The streets of the northern Mexican border town across from Eagle Pass, Tex., are lined with migrants who are now unsure of what to do. For the past couple of weeks, people from different parts of the world have flocked to Mexican border towns in anticipation of Title 42 enforcement ending, but a federal judge blocking its lifting for the time being now has migrants trying to decide what to do.

A group of Hondurans and El Salvadorans waiting near the Mexican port of entry told Townhall they had arrived in Piedras Negras early Monday morning, believing Title 42 was no longer being enforced by Border Patrol. Despite being informed that was not the case, the group still attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. …

While many have decided not to illegally cross at this time, other groups of people decided that since they have made it this far in their journey, they will make the final step and illegally enter the United States. In the late afternoon, Border Patrol was processing a large group that turned themselves in.

Does that sound like the border is “closed,” and that it’s a “fact”? Or does it sound more like Biden and his team keep signaling a reluctance to enforce border security and a desire to allow people to flood across into the US?

Will media fact-checkers get involved to demolish this claim and to highlight the truth — that the border crisis is not just still here but getting worse? They’ve mainly been AWOL thus far, so their fact-checkers might not have much material to work with, other than government reports that get little attention from their newsroom colleagues. The border itself keeps getting little attention from reporters as well, except for Julio and the local media outlets that grasp how important and dangerous this crisis is for those who live near it.

Maybe the fact-checkers should start demanding some reporting on it first, eh?

Addendum: Julio does a great job of getting on scene at the border and informing Townhall readers of the real scope of the crisis. He’s able to do that thanks to our great VIP and VIP Gold members. If you want to support that kind of independent journalism and keep us from existing at the whims of tech giants, our coupon code SAVEAMERICA still works to get you a 40% discount on either membership level. Today would be a great day to start, especially given the mainstream media’s clear reluctance to report on the demagoguery coming out of the White House.