NYT Reporter Challenges KJP Over Why Biden’s Border Stance Isn’t Called ‘Xenophobic’ But Trump’s Was

[Screenshot X Newsbusters]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The New York Times’ Michael Shear grilled White House press sec. Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday as to why President Joe Biden’s calls to shut down the border are not considered “xenophobic” but were when former President Donald Trump was in office.

The Senate is currently negotiating a bill that would, as of the latest version, trigger a “mandatory shutdown” if more than 5,000 migrants are apprehended at the border. Any migrants who arrive after the 5,000-person limit is reached would not be processed for asylum and would be immediately removed. The policy would continue for two weeks until average encounters fall below 3,750 per day. (RELATED: ‘Would Do Nothing’: Several Republicans Pour Cold Water On Senate Border Deal After Details Leaked)

Biden said the new legislation would give him “the emergency authority to shut down the border until it could get back under control. If that bill were the law today, I’d shut down the border right now and fix it quickly.”

Shear noted that Trump vowed to shut down the southern border both in 2018 and 2019 “using almost the identical language the president used on Friday” and was labeled by “many” if not “most” Democrats as racist and xenophobic.

“Why shouldn’t people make the same conclusion about this president’s threat to shut down the entire border with Mexico?” Shear asked.

“So we believe the new enforcement tools that currently don’t exist that will be, we believe will be part of this bipartisan agreement will be fair,” Jean-Pierre said before Shear cut in.

“But he didn’t say, ‘On day one, I will use enhanced enforcement to improve the processing of people at the border.’ He said ‘I will shut the border down,’ which suggests a total rejection of all people attempting to cross the border without a visa or without proper authorization, which stands in contradiction to decades of international and U.S. law that governs the movement of people around the globe and the refugees in the asylum system. Isn’t that the same thing that Trump did?”

Jean-Pierre argued Biden wants to see an agreement to deal with the situation at the border but that language of the deal is still unclear and therefore she doesn’t want to get too far ahead.

Shear then pushed back, saying that if the White House doesn’t want to get too far ahead in answering the question until they see the final text of the legislation, why did the White House explicitly say they want the legislation to pass?

Jean-Pierre argued two things can be true at once and that the Biden administration is working with Congress to get something passed but that she wouldn’t specifically speak to Biden’s stance on shutting the border down.

Trump promised to shut the border down and make Mexico pay for the border wall, with Democrats calling it “xenophobic.” Biden called Trump’s border policies inhumane.