Oct 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Border chief: GOP relocation campaign is attracting more migrants

Chris Magnus talking

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus speaking in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 19, 2021. Photo: Rod Lamkey/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration's top border official says that relocating migrants from the southern border to other parts of the U.S. is enticing other migrants to come after they hear about these programs.

Driving the news: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus told the Los Angeles Times in an interview that politicians have been lodging complaints about "pull factors" like jobs and benefits being impacted, which only attracts more migrants.

What they're saying: “It’s safe to say what’s going on is a pull factor, which is somewhat ironic given the criticism from some of these same governors involved in this about various pull factors that they claim already exist,” Magnus told The Times.

  • He said social media plays a part in the problem because it is enticing “when migrants hear that there are buses that will take them to locations where they are told they will receive benefits and job.”
  • Magnus noted that human smugglers use the same information to lure migrants.
  • A Venezuelan migrant who is unnamed and is part of the lawsuit against Florida's governor told The Times that the U.S. may be saying not to come but "everybody is getting WhatsApps back saying, ‘Not only did I turn myself in, but the government paid for my bus fare’ … it’s just one of many messages that are probably pretty enticing.”

Go deeper: Border chief: GOP governors are "lying" to migrants, worsening crisis

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