President Joe Biden has warned migrants against making the journey to America, in a statement that comes as his team is struggling to tackle a surge of refugees at the US-Mexico border.
"I can say quite clearly don't come over. Don't leave your town or city or community", Biden told ABC News on Tuesday, in an apparent address to asylum seekers.
He insisted that there had been a surge in immigration "in the last two years", but admitted that the current rise "could be" worse.
"The idea that Joe Biden said: 'Come' - because I heard the other day that they're [migrants] coming because they know I'm a nice guy. Here's the deal, they're not", POTUS said.
Trump Warns US Migration Crisis Will Worsen
He spoke as former US President Donald Trump claimed in an interview with Fox News that Biden had "eroded" the successful system Trump put in place, and that his policies "were working better than they have ever seen on the southern border".
The former POTUS warned that the migration crisis in the US is "going to get much worse", arguing "you will see those numbers [of refugees] expand at a level like you have never seen before".
He added that migrants are "coming in from everywhere", accusing the federal government of "dropping them off", saying refugees "are pouring into our country".
"It is a disgrace. They are going to destroy our country if they don't do something about it", Trump asserted.
The remarks came shortly after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas warned that the US was on track to see the highest number of arrivals across the country's southern border in 20 years.
"The situation at the southwest border is difficult. We are working around the clock to manage it and we will continue to do so", Mayorkas pointed out.
Earlier this month, Biden claimed that there is no immigration crisis in his country and his administration will be able "to handle" the influx of migrants illegally crossing the US-Mexico border.
An increase of migrant children apprehended at the southern border has since prompted the Biden administration to open up at least two temporary facilities to house them while they go through immigration proceedings.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in turn, said it has seen a steady increase in border encounters since April 2020, which has caused some facilities to reach maximum safe holding capacity. CBP data shows that from October to January more than 70,000 migrants were apprehended at the US-Mexico border each month.
Shortly before Biden's inauguration in January 2021, caravans of migrants from Central America started moving towards the US southern border in a bid to seek asylum in America.