'This is the Biden border crisis' – Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton

"We've seen migrants wearing their shirts that say, 'Biden, let us in' " said Cotton, who has been tough on border security.

Updated: March 8, 2021 - 2:06pm

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GOP Sen. Tom Cotton is calling the situation now at the U.S.-Mexico border the "Biden border crisis" and saying his administration is turning detention facilities into "reception centers."

Cotton made the comments Monday morning on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" , also saying Biden and fellow Democratic lawmakers are deny there is a crisis at the border.

"This is a border crisis," Cotton said. "This is the Biden border crisis. "Joe Biden and the Democrats ... they don't believe in borders. They don't, therefore, think it is a crisis.

"They think this is a feature not a bug of their policy. They've literally turned detention centers – that are designed to turn people away at our borders – into reception centers. That’s what they’re gonna call them. What signal is that going to send?  We've seen migrants wearing their shirts that say, 'Biden, let us in.' "

Cotton said the situation is going to create more problems at the border as more people make the dangerous journey across Mexico to get into the U.S.

"And how is this the moral and virtuous thing to do?" Cotton asked aloud. "The Biden administration is essentially saying, 'If you're willing to make that long, dangerous journey, if you're willing to put your life at risk or your kids' life at risk, we'll put you in."

The Republican Study Committee has urged the GOP to link the border crisis directly to Biden’s "radical" immigration and border policies.

"Over the next few months, Americans will watch the crisis on our border worsen. They will see the consequences of the radical left’s recklessness in real time," the committee said in a memo obtained by Fox News. "And every one of those consequences can be traced back to Joe Biden because every major change in our immigration policy since Inauguration Day was made unilaterally through the executive branch."

In his first days in office, Biden got rid of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which kept migrants in Mexico until hearings in the U.S., returning to the catch-and-release policy.

Biden also changed enforcement priorities for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and proposed an immigration bill to grant an estimated 11 million illegal immigrant now in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship.

The administration, meanwhile, denies there is a crisis at the border. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last week that situation is merely a "challenge."

"It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty that the administration before us established," he said. "What we are seeing now at the order is the immediate result of the dismantlement of the system and the time that it takes to rebuild it virtually from scratch."

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Sunday said it is precisely because Biden changed policies that the U.S. now has a border crisis.

"That's why we have this surge," he said on "Fox News Live." "And we've got a huge incentive now for people to come to this country. And we're only seeing the beginning of it. This is going to be a disaster."

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