On Thursday, sparks flew when White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed back hard on the notion that America’s southern border was wide open after Fox News’ senior White House correspondent Peter Doocy’s claimed that it was.
Their exchange took place during Thursday’s daily White House press briefing.
Doocy said that on Saturday there were about 15,000 migrants gathered in Del Rio, Texas. Yet when you look at the numbers based on migrants that Psaki said were expelled or released, Doocy said that number sinks to less than 5,000.
“Say there’s 5,000 that are still left, where’s everybody else?” Doocy asks.
Psaki, as has become common, promised to circle back.
Doocy pressed her, “We understand basically most of these people that are going into removal proceedings are being put on either buses from Del Rio to El Paso and Laredo or being flown to Tucson with no COVID testing unless they show symptoms.”
“How is that helping anybody stop the spread?” Doocy asked.
Psaki replied, “We have a protocol and processes in place as it relates to COVID in terms of testing and quarantining and also vaccines are provided for a range of migrants.”
“What is happening now… is that if individuals cannot be expelled under Title 42 they are placed in removal proceedings,” she added.
The press secretary noted that some of those detained are taken to detainment facilities or given a notice to appear in court.
A notice to appear means that they are released and given a date to show up in court on the honor system that they will appear.
Doocy kept pressing,“But why should somebody say in Laredo, Texas or El Paso or Tuscon, Arizona have to have their chance of catching COVID go up because hundreds of miles away there is an open border?”
“Well, there certainly is not an open border,” Psaki said sternly.
“We are continuing to employ our immigration proceedings and processes and restrictions at the border and that includes the implementation of enforcing Title 42,” she added.
What did Doocy do? You guessed it.
Doocy said to Psaki “You say the border’s not open but we’re told by our teams on the ground you guys are releasing pretty much all family units, couples where the woman says that she is pregnant or single women who say that they are pregnant and that nobody actually has to take a pregnancy test unless they want to but…”
Psaki then cut him off and seemed to want to change the topic.
“Are you suggesting that you don’t believe when women say they’re pregnant? ” Psaki said, frsutrated. “Is that a big issue we think, at the border?”
“I’m not in charge of keeping the border secure,” Doocy shot back. “You guys are.”
“Do you think pregnant women are posing a big threat to the border?” Psaki asked.
“You tell me,” Doocy shot back.
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