Former President Donald Trump on Monday said the Biden administration is "enforcing nothing" at the southwestern border as more migrant families are making it into the United States despite a health order instituted last year.
Trump was asked on "The Faulkner Focus" by anchor Harris Faulkner about a health order known as Title 42, which is meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus by barring entry of aliens who may be considered a health risk.
In February, nearly 59% of migrant families were allowed to stay in the U.S. under a separate provision called Title 8 as they await a decision on whether they can stay, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). That was a shift from January, the agency said, when more than 62% of migrant family units encountered by law enforcement on the border were expelled under Title 42.
"They're applying nothing. They're not doing Title 42 or any title," Trump said when asked whether he believed Title 42 was being properly enforced. "People are just walking into our country and they will destroy our country."
Trump added: "You can't take millions of people, they'll have millions of people before this mess is over. And they've got some kind of political theory I guess that it's a good thing... We want people to come in but they have to be able to help our country. They have to come in through merit and they have to come in legally."
Despite Trump's claim that President Biden and his team are "applying nothing," CPB is still expelling the vast majority of single aliens it encounters on the southwestern border. The agency encountered 71,598 total single aliens in February and booted 64,108 of them under the Trump health order.
"The border remains closed. Families and single adults are being expelled under Title 42 and should not attempt to cross illegally," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.
"In the narrow, narrow, circumstances in with families can't be expelled, the family is tested and quarantined as needed," despite the fact that the Biden administration expelled less than half of the families that law enforcement encountered in February.
"The unique challenges of the pandemic require additional authorities, such as the CDC order known as Title 42, to allow DHS to effectively protect both the health and safety of migrants and our communities from the spread of COVID-19," a CBP spokesperson told Fox News last week. "The border is not open, and the vast majority of people are being returned under Title 42."
Decisions to allow migrants to stay in the country under Title 8, rather than enforcing Title 42, are made depending on the circumstances of each case, the CPB spokesperson said.
A Biden administration spokesperson also told Fox News on Monday that the "Biden administration has been clear from the beginning that the border is closed, single adults and family units will be expelled. It’s also been clear that rebuilding asylum processing will take time, but it is [a] priority of the administration too."
Republicans have blamed Biden and his policies for the border crisis, saying his campaign rhetoric incentivized people to rush to the southern border.
The first two months of 2021 have seen more border encounters by CBP than in corresponding months of any of the past three years. There were over 100,000 border encounters in February.
"That's why you put your whole family together to make this trek. Because you just listened to what President Biden said," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said last week.
But Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on "Fox News Sunday" that the current crisis "is the result of President Trump's dismantlement of the safe and orderly immigration processes that were built over many, many years by presidents of both parties."
"It's just like with the vaccine where they say, 'oh, let's blame Trump,'" the former president lamented in his conversation with Faulkner Monday.
"They like to blame the previous administration," he also said.
Trump during his interview with Faulkner also railed against Biden and policies more generally.
"They're going to destroy our country, in other ways too if you look at what's going on," Trump said. "You have pack the court, you have big tax increases, they're going to take your guns away...This is Bernie Sanders on steroids."
Faulkner also asked Trump why he's been so outspoken during his first few months out of office. Most former presidents generally recede from public life to give space to their predecessors.
"The reason I weigh in is very simple," Trump said, "they're destroying our country. Very simple. It can't get simpler than that. They are destroying our country. And they're going to destroy it with tax increases the likes of which nobody has ever seen before in order to accomplish the 'Green New Deal' nonsense. They're destroying it with woke – when China looks at woke they see the biggest problem we have is Dr. Seuss. In the meantime, they're building factories and trying to kill us in so many different ways."