"We're going to chart our own path forward, and that includes treating children with humanity and respect, and ensuring they're safe when they cross our borders," the press secretary explained.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki last week expertly shut down a reporter who equated Donald Trump's sentiments about President Biden's immigration policy with that of "a lot of Americans." The now-viral moment occurred during a press briefing on Friday after the former president issued a statement arguing that his successor's rhetoric and policies have spurred a surge in migration at the southern border. "The spiraling tsunami at the border is overwhelming local communities, depleting budgets, crowding hospitals, and taking jobs from legal American workers," Trump said in the statement. "When I left office, we had achieved the most secure border in our country's history."
“Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden,” Trump said.— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) March 5, 2021
Former President Trump excoriated President Biden over the worsening #BorderCrisis, calling his successor’s leadership “disastrous.” https://t.co/kYSvGyjdTa
"Under Biden, it will soon be worse, more dangerous, and more out of control than ever before. He has violated his oath of office to uphold our Constitution and enforce our laws," he added. The statement came up during the press briefing Friday when CBS News' Weijia Jiang asked Psaki whether the Biden administration takes accountability for the fast-growing migration influx along the Mexico border. "A lot of Americans are saying that, you know, the surges are happening under President Biden’s watch after he reversed some previous policy. So does the administration take any accountability for what’s happening?" she asked.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas says Trump administration "dismantled our nation's immigration system in its entirety" and border policy & process must be rebuilt "virtually from scratch"— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 1, 2021
"It takes time to build out of the depths of cruelty that the administration before us established" pic.twitter.com/65rgeS1SUp
"Who are the Americans?" Psaki responded, forcing the reporter to divulge that the sentiment came from Trump. "Well, I know you don't want to answer to him, but the former President just released a statement saying that, 'The Biden Administration must act immediately to end the border nightmare that they have unleashed onto our nation,'" Jiang replied. "Former President Trump?" the press secretary responded calmly. "We don’t take our advice or counsel from former President Trump on immigration policy, which was not only inhumane but ineffective over the last four years."
"We're going to chart our own path forward, and that includes treating children with humanity and respect, and ensuring they're safe when they cross our borders," she added. Although Psaki's response was the perfect clap back to Trump's criticism, it is true that the Biden administration is currently grappling with a rapid influx of migrants, with thousands of unaccompanied minors being apprehended in the president's first several weeks in office. According to The Washington Post, about 350 teens and children have been crossing the U.S. border without their parents every day in recent weeks, which is four times as many as it was last fall.
REPORTER: Americans are saying immigrant surges are happening under President Biden's watch— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 5, 2021
PSAKI: Who are the Americans?
REPORTER: The former president
PSAKI: Former President Trump?
PSAKI: We don't take our advice or counsel from former President Trump pic.twitter.com/I5d0utFNs9
The administration has been focusing its efforts on accommodating the influx; turning detention centers into rapid-processing hubs for families with young children, relaxing shelter capacity regulations aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, deploying hundreds of backup border agents to the busiest crossings, and attempting to mobilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with Coronavirus testing and quarantining those who test positive. Psaki addressed the influx during the press briefing Friday saying: "We believe that children who are under the age of 18 should be treated with humanity and provided safety while we consider what the process is moving forward. So we certainly have a different approach; we understand the outcome and the impact of that."
It is 100% media malpractice for this reporter to try to hide the fact that she’s quoting trump by pretending she’s speaking for “many Americans.” I am so glad that Jen Psaki knows how to expose such lies so expertly. Why is a reporter LYING in the press room?— (((anti-antisemite))) (@Tristanshouts) March 5, 2021
Honestly @weijia , you should be embarrassed by this. “A lot of Americans are saying...” and then when asked who those Americans are you refer to a Trump statement. Please do better.— sanchmachine (@SanchMachine) March 5, 2021
A Psaki press briefing is a masterclass in how to call out stupid logic fallacies and give in your face honest, assertive communication in response to them— colonialcountry🌊🌊🌊 (@colonialcountr3) March 5, 2021
"But we are using every tool at our disposal, and we will use every official we can, to convey clearly, 'This is not the time to come.' The majority of people who come are turned away: families, adults," she added. When asked if she believes the policies and rhetoric of the Biden administration may at least in part be responsible for the rise, she said: "I certainly didn’t say that exactly. But all I'm conveying is that obviously, we're going to have more kids across the — in the country since we have been letting unaccompanied minors stay, and the last administration immorally kicked them out, in our view."