Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy questioned whether President Joe Biden has “confidence” in Vice President Kamala Harris’ role in handling root causes at the border.
“Does the president still have confidence that the Vice President can get to the bottom of root causes of migration?” Doocy asked.
Psaki said the president does and is “grateful for her work in doing exactly that,” the press secretary said.
“Why?” Doocy pressed.
“Why does he have confidence? Should I give you an update on a couple of the things we’ve done?” she replied.
Doocy asked what specifically gives Biden confidence when migrant encounters increased by 28% in March in comparison to the same month the previous year. Border officials encountered a total of 221,303 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, a 33% increase from February, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. (RELATED: Psaki Blames Gov. Abbott’s ‘Unnecessary And Redundant’ Truck Inspections For Job Delays And Rising Prices)
“You asked me about root causes, so let me address that first and what the vice president and other members of the administration have been working with and have been doing,” she said. “We’ve been working with source and transit countries in the region to facilitate the quick return of individuals that have resided in those countries as well as to stem migration in its states. Some of that is getting agreements with partner countries on migrant-related matters and that is something that the vice president has been deeply engaged with.”
She said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas traveled to Costa Rica to announce a bilateral migration agreement with the president of the country. The agreement intends to create economic growth and manage migrant flows.
“What addressing root causes means is working with countries in the region to take steps to have partnership, be able to have people sent back to the region as needed,” she continued.
The Fox News reporter then asked if the administration is deliberating with advisors about the scrapping of the Trump-era immigration policy Title 42, which led to over 1.7 million migrant expulsions in connection to COVID-19.
“Title 42 is not an immigration authority—I will get to answer your question, I promise, Peter—it is a public health authority. Congress gave the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] authority to make determinations about when it should be lifted. Right now, we are planning and preparing for the end of Title 42 enforcement on May 23. But, I would say there is a range, the president agrees that immigration in our country is broken. It’s a system that is broken.”
The press secretary concluded that it will take congressional action to reform U.S. immigration policy.
Harris received backlash in 2021 for not visiting the border though she was appointed to address root causes.