Jen Psaki Says Americans Only Think There’s A Border Crisis Because Of The Media

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “some components” of the “media” are to blame for Americans believing that there is a crisis at the US-Mexico border.

During an appearance on CNN’s podcast “The Axe Files with David Axelrod,” Psaki blamed media reports for perpetuating the perception that the southern border has plunged into a migrant crisis.

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“A big driver” of those negative impressions, Psaki said, was “the nature of some components of social media and media these days.” 

During the podcast, Axelrod — a former Obama chief strategist — said Psaki’s back-and-forth with White House press corps regarding the border issue is like a “wrestling match.”

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“It’s like a wrestling match [that] you go through multiple times a week as to whether you’re going to call it a ‘crisis,’ or how you’re going to explain it,”Axelrod said, according to Fox News.

The White House has been downplaying the spiraling situation at the US-Mexico border and refused to use the term “crisis” to describe the situation — despite local authorities saying so — with Psaki noting that “we just didn’t want to feed into that on this issue, or really any issue.” 

“To us, it’s like, ‘That wasn’t really a crisis; it was a huge challenge,’” Psaki told Axelrod. 

Psaki’s tenure as the Biden administration’s spokeswoman during one of the worst migrant crises in modern history had her scrambling for alternative words to “crisis” in describing the situation along the US-Mexico border as more than two-thirds of Americans gave the Democratic administration a “very” or “somewhat bad” mark in handling the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border.

Since President Joe Biden revoked former President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which allowed migrants to wait in other countries while applying for asylum, illegal border crossings to the US have increased dramatically.

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said the number of encounters with illegal immigrants has “more than doubled” since Biden’s inauguration in January 20. 

The CBP noted that in March, authorities arrested 172,331 illegal immigrants seeking to enter the country — including 19,000 unaccompanied minors — or up 71% in one month alone.

According to The Washington Post, total border crossings in March hit their highest level in 15 years.

Despite reported efforts by the Biden administration to keep photographs of unaccompanied minors being kept in overcrowded facilities hidden, videos of children who are unable to practice social distancing as the coronavirus continue to ravage across the country have surfaced.

Even Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has acknowledged that illegal immigrants were released without being screened or after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Despite the Biden administration’s claims that the border situation is “under control,” Democrats in border states have spoken out about the reality on the ground and the impact it has had on their communities.

“The reality is, that this is a crisis,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona. “We all know it.”

“The federal government must do more to address this surge of migrants who are coming to the border with increasing numbers each year. And I’m like, you probably know this, but we’re looking at numbers this year that are the highest numbers of crossings that we’ve seen in 20 years in Arizona.”

Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly, also from Arizona, noted that  the current immigration situation amounts to “a crisis on the border in Arizona and Texas.” 

Earlier this month Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar, also admitted that “there is a border crisis, no ifs about it.”

More than 15,000 illegal aliens have also skipped court dates as a result of the Biden administration’s revived catch-and-release scheme, which is akin to an “honors system,” Cuellar revealed.

Psaki has repeatedly refused to make comments on some border-related stories during press briefings, although she did note that the administration’s “focus is on sending a clear message to smugglers — to the region – that this is not the time to come.” 

Rather than a “crisis,” Psaki would also often refer to the border situation as mere “challenges on the border” despite historic numbers of illegal crossers being apprehended daily.

Although Biden slipped at one point and described the situation as “the crisis that ended up on the border with young people,” the White House later on walked back on the President’s comment and said this is not the official stand of the current Democratic administration.

Meanwhile, Psaki claimed during the interview with Axelrod that the immigration issue is not that relevant to the American public — noting that most people have other priorities.

“What percentage of the public is focused on the border? A much smaller percentage than who’s focused on the pandemic and the economy,” Psaki said.

Nonetheless, a recent Pew Research Center seemed to contradict the press secretary’s claim when it found that 43% of Americans say the media have not spent enough time covering the immigration crisis at the US’ southern border.

Steeve Strange

Steeve is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Scoop.

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