Fox News reporter Peter Doocy pushed White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday to explain why the U.S. was releasing illegal immigrants into the country unsupervised.
The exchange came during the White House press briefing Tuesday, and it was only the latest testy exchange between Doocy and Psaki. President Joe Biden’s administration has faced criticism for its handling of the southern border since migrant crossings began to surge in early 2021. (RELATED: Fox News’ Doocy Grills Jen Psaki On Joe Biden’s Past Support For The Filibuster)
“Why is it that large numbers of single adult men are being released into the United States just hours after being apprehended at the southern border?” Doocy asked.
“I’m not sure the specifics of what you’re referring to, Peter. What I can tell you in terms of what our policy is and how we’re approaching the border is that we continue to be under Title 42,” Psaki responded. “Migrants who cannot be expelled under Title 42 are placed into immigration proceedings, and one of those avenues could be placement in an alternative-to-detention program in the interior of the United States.”
“Sometimes that means moving migrants to other parts of the United States to move to different detention facilities where they wait for next steps in the immigration process, such as a court hearing, and are required to check in with the local ICE office,” she added. “So that is certainly something that is happening out there in the country and is consistent with our policy.”
Doocy then pressed Psaki to explain how it was handling cases where the migrants ignored the requirement to check in with ICE.
“DHS says more than 47,000 of these migrants that were given notices to report did not show up, so why let them into the U.S. unsupervised in the first place?” he asked.
“Well, again, we have stringent protocols and processes that we implement here. That includes expelling individuals who come in under Title 42 given we are still in a global pandemic, and it includes that those who do not show up will be subject to the repercussions of that,” she finished.
The Biden administration has sought to downplay accusations that the ongoing border surge is thanks to its immigration policies. The heads of state of both Guatemala and Mexico have suggested that Biden’s policies are to blame, however, migrants crossing the border have also openly thanked Biden.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated that Central American migrants believed crossing the border would be easier under Biden’s administration, and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei stated that human traffickers or “coyotes” began organizing groups to cross the border “the very next day” after Biden’s inauguration.
“Expectations were created that with the Government of President [Joe] Biden there would be better treatment of migrants,” Obrador said at the time. “And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so.”