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‘How Is That Possible?’: Martha MacCallum Presses Kirby On Why Biden Had Never Spoken To Ex-Border Patrol Chief

Fox News anchor Martha McCallum pressed White House Director of National Security and Communications John Kirby about why President Joe Biden never spoke to the former border chief.

Biden and former President Donald Trump made simultaneous visits to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday, as voters prioritize immigration as a top priority ahead of the 2024 election. Raul Ortiz, who led the Border Patrol during the first two years of the Biden administration, criticized the president's handling of the crisis in an interview on “60 Minutes.”

Even though Biden only met with the current secretary during a visit to the border in Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday, Kirby said the president is “engaged” with all border officials involved with the Department of Homeland Security. '' he reiterated.

“You say he's being proactive, but still, according to his former Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz, who spoke on “60 Minutes,” he's the chief executive officer overseeing 21,000 agents. During that time, I never spoke to the president or vice president. [Kamala Harris]. How is that possible, John, given the fact that this is the biggest issue for voters in every primary state we've covered so far? ” asked McCollum.

“Well, Martha, you saw the President in Brownsville last week. This was his second visit to the border, and he clearly has a close relationship with the Secretary. [Alejandro] Mayorkas and DHS [Department of Homeland Security]. He will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Border Patrol agents in Brownsville. This is an issue he knows is important to the American people, and it is important to him. And frankly, Martha, that's why it was so important for the Senate to pass a bipartisan bill that included significant changes not only to border security, but immigration policy, and the House won't take up this bill. It is now stagnant. The president is willing to negotiate all of these things and move forward.”

McCollum repeated the question, noting that Biden had not met with current Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens until his visit to the border on Thursday. (Related article: 'You're not answering my questions': Martha McCallum comes down hard on Juan Williams in defense of Biden's border policies)

“From what we found, they had never spoken before. Is that possible?” McCallum asked.

“The president is involved with DHS, he's involved with the leadership there–” Kirby began.

“But why isn't the Border Patrol?” McCallum interjected.

“Martha, he's engaged with the Border Patrol. He was just meeting with them in Brownsville and talking to them and asking them about the situation on the ground,” Kirby said.

“However, he has never met the former chief or the current chief.The current chief, who has just met him, is in his third year as president. [he] I just met him the other day,” the Fox News host claimed.

“He is once again on the ground speaking with everyone at DHS, including the Border Patrol in Brownsville, and hearing their concerns directly,” Kirby said.

gallup poll found Immigration is considered the most important issue among respondents. A total of 28% of respondents said immigration was the most important issue facing the United States in February, with the government coming in second at 20%. This is the first time since 2019 that immigration has emerged as a top priority.

Since Biden took office in January 2021, Border Patrol has apprehended a record number of illegal immigrants crossing the border. More than 1.7 million people were arrested in the first year of the Biden administration, more than 2 million people were arrested in fiscal years 2022 and 2023, and more than 301,000 people were arrested in 2021. In December 2023 alone, according to Submit to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

In fiscal year 2020, the last year of the Trump administration, a total of 400,651 immigrants were apprehended at the southern border. according to To Statista.

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