White House press secretary Jen Psaki was pilloried on social media after she gave what many saw as an inappropriate and condescending response to a Fox News reporter regarding entry limits to migrant children showing up unaccompanied at the Southwest U.S. border.
“Fox’s Kristin Fisher asked Jen Psaki a basic question if there’s ‘a limit or cap to the number of unaccompanied minors…allowed in,’ but Psaki went low and personal,” Newsbusters managing editor Curtis Houck posted on Twitter with a clip of the exchange.
“A limit or a cap? So, should we send some kids who are 10 back at some point, is that what you’re asking me?” Psaki responded.
Fox's Kristin Fisher asked Jen Psaki a basic question if there's "a limit or cap to the number of unaccompanied minors…allowed in," but Psaki went low and personal: "Should we send some kids who are 10 back at a certain point? Is that what you're asking me?" pic.twitter.com/wzyS9OffgJ
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 17, 2021
“I’m not setting the policy here, I’m just asking you what the Biden administration’s policy is — is there a limit to the number of children who will be allowed in? I mean, the numbers we are hearing now, 565 on average every day,” Fisher pressed. “I’m just curious what the endgame is here, how many, ultimately, will be let in.”
Psaki went on to begin explaining that the administration is “focused on some of the very specific numbers,” but it was her initial reply to Fisher that drew the most criticism online, with several people taking her to mean the Biden administration wasn’t placing a limit on the number of migrant children at all.
I’m guessing the @PressSec level of smugness and condescension will begin decreasing exponentially in the next few months.
— Bob Meyers (@snowjob1953) March 18, 2021
just ask her, “what is the United States doing to protect and prevent children from being raped and trafficked by coyotes that get paid to get them into the U.S. illegally?…make sure you use the word, “illegally” as in not, “legal” as in breaking the law…thanks
— rouser (@AvengeOne) March 18, 2021
She’s truly disgusting
— Jonny Cabernet *NOW 50% less white (@Inflatulation) March 17, 2021
I can’t stand that smug, condescending ginger scumbag.
— Dal Mar (@Dalmar31) March 17, 2021
Oof, she is really terrible at this.
“Did you hear me say the word ‘ten,’ Jen? No? Ok, so how about you try and focus on the question that I actually asked you.”
— Arthur Dent (@trashdnscattrd) March 17, 2021
Answer a question with a question. Love it.
— kw (@kw_chicago) March 18, 2021
We should send then all back.
— Tammy B (@sorrytryagain34) March 18, 2021
The exchange came as the administration increasingly struggles to control the massive influx of illegal aliens and migrant children, the numbers of which are reportedly higher now than at any time in years.
On Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told the House Homeland Security Committee that the “border is closed” and that immigration authorities are handling the influx.
Rep. Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.) asked Mayorkas if he thought President Joe Biden’s “policies and rhetoric” were contributing to the crush at the border, citing a halt to the border wall construction, a 100-day deportation moratorium and changes to former President Donald Trump’s asylum policies.
“His border immigration policies and rhetoric undermine, in my opinion, a core American value of American life — the rule of law,” LaTurner said. “Do you think it’s a reflection of the rhetoric of President Biden and the policies he has implemented since coming into office? Do you think that has had an impact on the increase?”
“I do not,” Mayorkas responded.
A day earlier, Mayorkas said that the country is “on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”
Earlier in his testimony, Mayorkas denied that the situation along the border had reached crisis levels, echoing his previous position.
“The migration challenge that we are facing at the southwest border is not new. We confronted it in 2019 and 2014 and before then. It is a reflection of the fact that our system is broken. It is a reflection of other factors as well,” the DHS chief said.
“The American people heard that answer and they are not buying it,” LaTurner responded.
During her presser on Wednesday, Psaki said that Biden was too busy “taking actions” to travel to the border to gauge the situation for himself.
She said the president is honed in on “taking actions and moving forward policies to ensure we are expediting the processing at the border, that we are opening more facilities, that we are putting in place policies that will move kids more quickly through the border patrol facilities, more quickly into safe and secure homes and that’s where his focus is.”
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