White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the situation on the border a “crisis,” but walked it back after reporters asked if his comments represented a change in the Biden administration’s view about the influx of migrants across the border.
At a press briefing on Thursday, Psaki was asked if the administration sends vaccines to Mexico to try to get Mexican officials to help curb the influx of immigration.
“There are expectations … not related to any vaccine dose or requests for them to be partners in dealing with the border crisis,” Psaki responded.
Another reportedly took to his use of the word “crisis” and asked if that represented a change in the administration’s view about the situatiion.
“Border challenges,” he replied.
He also said his use of “crisis” does not represent a change.
Watch the video below:
Psaki then returns and clarifies that he meant to say “border challenges.” pic.twitter.com/L5j9WeJnSm
– Breaking911 (@ Breaking911) March 18, 2021
Biden administration officials will resist labeling the situation a “crisis” as the country quickly sees the highest number of border crossings in 20 years.
Psaki previously refused to use the phrase “crisis” or “disaster” when asked if those were appropriate descriptions of the situation.
“I know we’re always funny with labels around here,” he told reporters this week. “But, I will say that our focus is on solutions, and this is one of the steps that the president thinks will help not be a final solution, but help speed up the processing, help ensure that people come at the border have access to health and medical care. “
He added, “Obviously, the number is enormous. It’s a huge challenge and it’s certainly a reflection of the federal government’s use of every lever to help address it.”
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas also has resistant to calling it is a crisis. During a House Homeland Security Committee meeting Wednesday, Republican lawmakers attempted to call Mayorkas to call the situation a crisis.
However, he said, “I don’t spend any time on the language we use.”
“I spend time responding operationally to the border situation,” he added.
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