Psaki Admits Border Problem, Blames Trump As 3K Immigrant Minors To Be Housed In Dallas
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has finally acknowledged that the surge of migrants in the US-Mexico border is a “big problem” — following weeks of the Biden administration refusing to call it a “crisis.”
But Psaki is blaming the previous government under President Donald Trump for what she described as an “unworkable system” despite the former administration averting such an unprecedented influx of migrants by earlier implementing tough measures at the border which President Joe Biden later on reversed.
During a White House briefing Monday, @PressSec Jen Psaki called the more than 4,000 unaccompanied minors in #Border Patrol custody a "big problem." Now, male teenage immigrants will be sent to Dallas for up to 90 days beginning as early as this week. https://t.co/MW4re7rreN
— ABC 27 (@abc27) March 15, 2021
Border issue a “big problem”
“We recognize this is a big problem,” Psaki told reporters in a briefing. “The last administration left us a dismantled and unworkable system and, like any other problem, we are going to do all we can to solve it.”
The Press Secretary noted, however, that the current administration “certainly do” have a handle of the situation despite local officials along the southern border frequently complaining of how the administration has been pouring migrants into their communities.
While not expounding on her claims against the former administration in terms of border policies, Psaki noted that Biden is moving to address the surge of migrants at the border — especially the number of unaccompanied minors at the border.
For one, she said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is “rescinding COVID protocols to accommodate the number of migrants at full capacity” — which will “help expand capacity” at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also been mobilized to assist the Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) with the processing of migrant children.
“There’s now an embedding at the president’s ask of HHS and ORR staff with CBP, which will allow [the] government to more quickly ID, vet, confirm sponsors and family members of the unaccompanied minors and will lead to quicker placement,” Psaki said.
She noted that amid the surge of unaccompanied minors at the border — “none of these border patrol facilities are made for children.”
Psaki: Biden’s “messaging” not to blame
Despite the worsening border situation, Psaki refused to blame the current Democratic administration’s “messaging” towards incoming immigrants — and backtracked on an earlier stance about welcoming migrants.
“It’s a complicated problem, no doubt about it, we are sending the message clearly in the region, now is not the time to come, but also we want to ensure that people are treated with humanity,” Psaki said.
Her latest comments come as President Biden earlier maintained that “there is no crisis.” Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Alejandro Mayorkas also refused to call the southern border situation a “crisis.”
“It doesn’t matter what you call it. It is an enormous challenge,” Psaki said. “We don’t feel the need to, you know, play games with what it’s called.”
Reports said the number of border crossers have spiked since Democratic President Biden took office. The numbers were last seen tripling in recent weeks with more than 100,000 migrant encounters in February. Meanwhile, in January alone, 6,000 migrants aged 16 and 17 were caught entering illegally.
Critics have been blaming Biden’s dramatic reversal of Trump-era border policies for encouraging the influx of migrants at the southern border after the new Democratic administration rolled back border protections meant to allow migrants to be kept out of the US while being processed or returned to their home countries.
Admin to house up to 3K immigrant teens in Dallas
Separately, it was announced that the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas will be used by the US government for up to three months to hold up to 3,000 immigrant minors as the sharply higher numbers of border crossings have severely strained the current capacity of facilities along the border, according to The Associated Press.
The said convention center will reportedly be used to house “boys ages 15 to 17,” according to the memo sent to members of the Dallas City Council.
“US Health and Human Services (HSS) is rushing to open facilities across the country to house immigrant children who are otherwise being held by the US Border Patrol, which is generally supposed to detain children for no more than three days,” Fox News said.
“The Border Patrol is holding children longer because there is next to no space in the HHS system, similar to the last major increase in migration two years ago,” it added, noting that a tent facility in the city of Donna, south of Dallas, is already choked holding more than 1,000 children and teenagers.
Psaki blames Trump for “inhumane” treatment of kids
Psaki also pointed finger at the former Trump administration when called out for the “appalling treatment” of migrant children at the border facilities.
“There were lawyers who interviewed some children that were in facilities,” a reporter asked Psaki. “The children described sleeping on the floor, being hungry, not seeing the sun for days. How is that acceptable for the Biden administration to keep children in those sorts of conditions, given the fact that you said you were an administration that was going to be more humane than the previous one?”
Instead of directly answering, Biden’s Press Secretary suggested that the Trump administration was responsible for the border crisis — even as experts have said these were results of Biden’s open-border policies, which was a reversal of those of former president Trump.
Even Mexico earlier expressed concern that the Biden administration is “stoking illegal immigration” and is making it easier to create “business for organized crime.”
“They see him as the migrant president, and so many feel they’re going to reach the United States,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reportedly said of Biden’s immigration messaging. “We need to work together to regulate the flow, because this business can’t be tackled from one day to the next.”
Meanwhile, asked why President Biden can’t take the time to go down and check the situation at the border, Psaki said: “His focus is on developing solutions that will expedite processing at the border!” said Psaki. “That’s his focus.”
Share Your Thoughts
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.