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Joe Biden on Migration: The Journey of a Thousand Miles Starts with the First Step

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President Joe Biden answered a question about migration at his first presidential press conference on Thursday by citing the adage: “The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.”

Biden did not indicate whether the pun had been intended.

Several reporters asked Biden questions about the border, about migration, and about conditions in the facilities where the migrants, particularly unaccompanied minors, are held. Asked to commit to allowing the media to visit the facilities, Biden said: “I will commit when my plan very shortly is under way” and when he was “in a position to implement” his policy.

Jessica Rodriguez of Univision, who was given the last question of the press conference, asked Biden about the “root causes” of migration: “How do you realistically and physically keep these families from coming to the U.S. when things will not get better in their countries right away?”

Biden, who had wandered away from the podium, answered:

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Well, I can’t guarantee that. But I know, you know, that old thing: “The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.” You know as well as I do — you cover it — you have — it’s not like someone sitting at a hand-hewn table in Guatemala, I mean, in somewhere in Mexico, or in Guadalupe, saying, “I got a great idea. Let’s sell everything we have, give it to a coyote, have him take our kids across the border into the desert, where they don’t speak the language, won’t that be fun?”

He said that people don’t want to leave their home countries but are desperate enough to risk the journey.

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton warned on Wednesday that up to 42 million people living in Central and Southern America want to migrate to the United States.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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