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A Republican has attracted ridicule online after claiming that 'one billion people' have been arrested at the southern border by Border Patrol agents.

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, who represents Arizona's 8th congressional district, hugely overstated the arrest figures in the US over the last six months with an erroneous social media post.

She wrongly added three zeros to the figure, which in reality is one million.

To put it in context, one billion people would be one eighth of the world’s population, three times the population of the USA and nearly eight times the 128.9 million population of Mexico.

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Lesko cited a piece from the Wall Street Journal in her tweet, and said that the arrests show that "President Biden's open border policies are fueling this crisis!”

However, to prove her point she completely oversold the number of people being apprehended by law enforcement forces.

Among many of the people reacting online was journalist Molly Jong-Fast, who posted a screen shot of the original tweet and wrote: “From the party that is super excited to ban math textbooks, I bring you…”

While numbers of border crossings are at a two decade high, it’s not quite at the one billion mark yet.

Lesko has served as a Republican congresswoman since 2018Getty

President Joe Biden’s administration is lifting a public health order imposed by Donald Trump that blocked most asylum seekers from the US-Mexico border during the Covid-19 pandemic, with numbers crossing the border expected to rise as a result when the so-called Title 42 provisions end next month.

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