Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about blaming former President Donald Trump’s administration for the current border crisis.
At Friday’s briefing, Heinrich pointed to the rise of migrants flooding across the U.S.-Mexico border under President Joe Biden’s administration following the press secretary stating Thursday that they are fixing the issues caused by their predecessor.
“Yesterday, you repeatedly blamed the Trump administration for what we’re seeing at the southern border but the record crossings have been happening under President Biden,” Heinrich began. “One migrant we interviewed yesterday thanked the president for keeping the border open. So I just want to confirm, the way that this administration sees it, ending Remain in Mexico or Title 42 had nothing to do with the surge that we’re seeing.”
Jean-Pierre touted the administration adding 23,000 border agents and officers to secure the border and has taken migrants into custody for processing. She then said more migrants will be expelled at the border this year than ever before.
“What about the record crossing number?” Heinrich continued. “I mean, you’re reading off expulsions and things like that because all these people are coming over.”
“Yes, and they’re also being encountered. Individuals encountered are also being removed or expelled in this year than any previous year,” the press secretary said. (RELATED: Reporters Grill Karine Over Border Crisis After Illegals Are Sent To Live In Liberal Enclaves)
Heinrich asked why the president rejected a DHS plan to move some of the migrants to different areas of the country to relieve the overwhelmed border town communities. Jean-Pierre refused to answer the question, claiming she had already answered it earlier.
The press secretary has previously called the transportation of migrants “cruel” and accused the governors of participating in a “political pawn.”
Heinrich then asked if the administration’s handling of the migrant crisis is working.
“What we are asking for, we are asking for Congress to act again on the president’s first day in this administration, he put forth a comprehensive immigration reform,” Jean-Pierre answered. “And instead of Republicans playing political games, using people’s lives, humans, individuals, children, families, as political pawns, they should help us and work with us to finding solutions and they are not.”
When Biden took office, he introduced legislation to provide an 8-year pathway to citizenship for migrants and preserve an Obama-era plan known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The administration attempted to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy that required migrants to await their U.S. immigration hearings in Mexico. The Supreme Court ruled against the administration in August 2021, leading the policy to be reinstated.
Migrant apprehension numbers have nearly doubled since President Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021. As of July, Border Patrol agents encountered 1.9 million migrants at the southern border in the fiscal-year-to-date (FYTD) 2022, which began in October, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP).