A White House reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Tuesday about the administration’s errors in handling the migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The reporter said that the president’s goal was to address the root causes of migration and tackle the immigration crisis, yet border apprehensions have doubled since he has taken office. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that border encounters surpassed 2 million migrants since October 2021, the start of the 2022 fiscal year.
“The president campaigned on addressing the root causes of migration, he’s been in office now for almost two years, we are seeing these apprehensions reach record levels. What exactly went wrong here?” the reporter asked.
“These people are fleeing communism as we have said, as you heard DHS say as well, falling authoritarian regimes and Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba are causing a new migration challenge across the western hemisphere,” Jean-Pierre said. “So what we’re seeing is a new, definitely a new pattern. So not just our southern border, as well, but our western, clearly, hemisphere. But meanwhile, migration from Mexico and northern Central America has come down for three consecutive months and is down by nearly half and what we saw, the increase with Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba is up by 121 percent.”
The press secretary said that the administration is committed to processing migrants in a safe and humane manner, but there are many who will be expelled under Title 42, a Trump-era policy that expels migrants to protect against COVID-19. She also said there is a set process in place that the administration is working with.
The reporter then asked if the “change in pattern” is a sign that the administration needs a new strategy to tackle the surge in migrants. The press secretary said the administration has expelled a historic number of migrants. The administration expelled 4,172 Cuban and Nicaraguan migrants in May, then dropped to 605 the following month, according to WOLA.
“We have solutions, we have brought solutions on day one of this administration,” Jean-Pierre said. “The president has been very clear, he put forth a comprehensive immigration bill, piece of legislation and what we would like to see is Republicans decide to come to the table and help us deal with a really systemic problem that we have seen for decades when it comes to our immigration system, which by the way, was actually mismanaged and decimated by the last administration.” (RELATED: Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich Presses Jean-Pierre On Blaming Trump Admin For Current Border Crisis)
“So again, we have put forth a solution on how to move forward but what Republicans want to do, and we’ve been very clear, you’ve heard me talk about this all last week, is they are moving forward with political stunt,” she continued.
The press secretary then repeated her previous remarks that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is participating in a “political stunt” by relocating migrants to Democrat-led cities. After shipping 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, a plane sent by DeSantis is expected to arrive in Delaware on Tuesday, though it is unclear whether there are illegal migrants aboard.