White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wanted to talk about the American Rescue Plan and the President and Vice President's tour of the US today, but reporters had other questions.
In the spirit of transparency to build public trust," asked a reporter, when will reporters be allowed into the border detention centers for migrants?
Psaki didn't answer the question, but said the administration was committed to "transparency."
"Part of our objective," she said, is to work with the countries from which migrants are leaving and flooding across the border. She said the steps they are taking to communicate that people should not come, are:
The Biden administration has placed radio ads in multiple languages on 33 radio stations. They have bought targeted social media advertising. This is in addition to "creative approaches in different countries, meeting people where they are," including comic books and televised content focused on migration reduction.
"This is just part of our effort to send a clear message," she said, and noted that "more funding is needed" to address problems in these nations, "to provide funding not necessarily to the governments" but the NGOs in specific countries.
As regards the images that were released, a Kelly O'Donnell from NBC asked "is that not a crisis?"
Psaki said it was not. "Children presenting at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations, is not a crisis."
"These photos show what we've long been saying," she said, that these facilities are not for children. She emphasized that children would not be turned away from the border because it would not be humane.
Fox News' Peter Doocy asked about the policy to let adult migrants go without a court date. Are they being released on the "honour system," he asked.
She said that those who are not given a court date, those who are "going to be deported, who are awaiting deportation," don't need a court date because they will be deported.
Doocy asked how the border could be closed if people are processed on the US side of the border, and then transported to other locations in the US.
Psaki said that "most of them are sent back." She also said that Biden's position during the campaign was due to "language that is used by some," that "doesn't include the full context of his comments." Psaki then blamed Trump.
Reporters were dissatisfied with her answers.
Another reporter asked how the Biden administration could justify spending $90 million to house migrants in Texas hotels while leaving National Guard troops to languish in parking garages in DC. Psaki had no reasonable answer.
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