Utah freshman Rep. Burgess Owens alleged, without evidence, that President Joe Biden is intentionally creating the humanitarian crisis at the southern U.S. border.
“We’re seeing this purposeful chaos. President Biden should be ashamed of himself,” Owens said during a Monday appearance on Newsmax. “I believe, personally, you can’t do this on accident, what he’s making a mess of and bringing misery to so many people.”
U.S. officials report a surge of migrants attempting to enter the country at the southern border, including thousands of unaccompanied children and teenagers. Homeland Security said last week the number of migrants coming to the border is on pace to be the most in 20 years. The immigration crush is so overwhelming that border patrol agents are releasing some migrants without giving them a court date.
Owens also accused Biden and his administration of lying about the severity of the border crush.
“I would suggest President Biden take time out, go down and see what’s happening there,” Owens said. “Stop sending his folks out there that are being dishonest with us about the tragedy that’s happened down there, and the people are being drawn to our country.”
Owens also asserted Democrats are intentionally trying to bring migrants into the country so they could help them win elections.
“It’s misery. It’s on purpose because they are actually using this to draw people to the border, and then one day to get their power,” Owens said. “At the end of the day, that’s what they’re all about.”
Owens’ office issued a response to The Salt Lake Tribune’s request for comment via email.
“Rep. Owens knows there is a crisis at our southern border – the only person denying that is Joe Biden and his administration,” said a spokesperson.
Owens’ office did not answer whether he had any evidence to support his assertions that the Biden administration and congressional Democrats were intentionally causing the crisis. Additionally, it would not detail whether Owens had visited the border area since his election in November.
Owens is one of nine Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee calling on the majority Democrats to hold a hearing on the influx of migrants at the border.
The Biden administration is blaming former President Donald Trump for creating the mess at the border. “The last administration left us a dismantled and unworkable system,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said Monday, “and, like any other problem, we are going to do all we can to solve it.”
Owens argued that it’s dishonest for Biden to blame his predecessor.
“You can see we did have policies in place that brought order to our border,” said Owens, without mentioning the separation of thousands of children from their families under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy. “I hope the American people understand what’s happening here. The contrast is obvious. We see what happened in the last four years and the building of the wall bringing order to the border. We see what’s happened right now is nothing but dishonesty.”
On Monday, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. Chris Stewart also criticized President Biden and Democrats for the migrant surge at the border.