In response a question from Fox News' Peter Doocy with regard to the US-Mexico border wall and the recent apprehension of terrorists at that border, White House Press Secretary said that "these types of incidents are very uncommon."
Doocy asked "Two people [on the terrorist watch list] from Yemen have been apprehended at the border. How concerned is President Biden about terrorists possibly trying to take advantage of gaps in the border to get in and kill Americans?"
"Well," Psaki began, "first let me convey that these types of incidents are very uncommon. And CBP and DHS can speak more to the timeline and the specifics of course in these specific cases and encounters. But these encounters of known and suspected terrorists are very uncommon.
"They do underscore the importance of the critical work that is done on a daily basis to vet those at the border. DHS works, not just at the border, as you know, but also with international partners to share intelligence and other information including to prevent individuals on certain watch-lists from entering the United States.
"They adjudicate individuals encountered by and at ports of entry, again, several classified databases. So while this is rare, this is a reflection of them doing their jobs."
Doocy then asked about DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who reportedly told ICE in a meeting last week that the administration could be starting up work on the border wall again in order to "finish some gaps in the southern border." He asked how that fits with Biden's executive order to stop border wall construction entirely.
Psaki replied that "Well wall construction remains paused by the extent permitted by law. So some has already been funded through congressional authorization and funding allocation. But as agencies develop for a plan—it's paused while agencies are developing a plan for the President on the management of the federal funds.
"When the administration took office, as you mentioned, funds had been diverted from congressionally appropriated military construction projects and other appropriated purposes toward building the wall. And wall construction was being challenged in multiple lawsuits, for much of the wall, I should say, not all of it, by plaintiff who allege serious safety and environmental issues.
"Under those circumstances, federal agencies are continuing to review wall contracts and develop a plan to submit to the President soon. It is paused, there is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for, but it has been paused."
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