Southern border coordinator Roberta Jacobson dodged a question Tuesday about the potential reinstatement of a Trump-era policy of sending unaccompanied minors detained at the border back to their home countries.
MSNBC contributor Katty Kay on “Morning Joe” asked Jacobson whether she anticipated President Joe Biden’s administration would reinstate the policy. Jacobson said the Biden administration was “provid[ing] options” for migrants. (RELATED: Jonathan Swan Suggests Border Crisis Was ‘Foreseeable’ When Biden Reversed Trump Policies, Says The Administration Is ‘Scrambling’)
“Because however much the president says, don’t come at the moment … [and that] the door is not open, the journey is dangerous, the message that these kids are getting in Honduras and El Salvador and Guatemala is there is a window now to come,” Kay continued.
The host asked how the administration was prepared to prevent such large numbers of children from coming to the border if the message was that the children are able to stay in the U.S. The Biden administration announced Mar. 16 they would not expel unaccompanied migrant children from the U.S., even though the holding facilities continue to run out of space.
“Well, I think there’s a couple of things that we do in response. The first is to make sure that we have as robust messaging as the smugglers do,” Jacobson responded. “We make sure our messaging is loud, that it is not the case, that the border is not open.”
Apprehensions of migrant children and the number of border crossings have both skyrocketed since Biden took office. The administration was reportedly warned by former Trump officials and members of Congress from border districts of the looming crisis.
The border coordinator conceded that this year the numbers have been higher than usual, but argued they would “diminish at a certain point” and that migrant trends “are also seasonal” for the spring. Jacobson continued, saying the administration needs to get humanitarian assistance, job training, education and feeding assistance to countries where the migrants are coming from.