Jen Psaki cites pandemic to justify barring reporters from jam-packed border facilities – no, really

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki tried on Sunday to cite the receding coronavirus pandemic as an excuse for why the Biden administration has and continues to bar members of the press from seeing inside its border detention facilities.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” Psaki was grilled by host Chris Wallace about the border crisis — though arguably not as harshly as Republicans are frequently grilled — but was unable to offer any convincing answers or explanations.

During one portion of the exchange, Wallace played a clip of President Joe Biden promising the media “full access” to the detention facilities along the border and then noted that this access has yet to be actually provided.

“The only way we know how bad conditions are for some 5,000 minors in these Border Patrol facilities is because of … pictures that members Congress have released on their own,” he said.

“Jen, these kids are living in these conditions now. They’re not living in these conditions some indeterminate time from now when the president says everything will be fixed. So why not allow reporters and camera crews in — even on a pool basis — safely to take pictures and show the American people what’s happening in these Border Patrol facilities right now?”

Psaki replied with a lengthy spiel about how the administration is “committed” to doing exactly that, prompting Wallace to ask, “But when?”

She replied again — this time with a lie and an excuse.

Watch the exchange below:

Just last week we had a pool camera providing footage to Fox News into the shelters. We want to provide access into the Border Patrol facilities. We’re mindful of the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Psaki said.

We want to keep these kids safe, keep the staff safe. But we’re absolutely committed to transparency and providing access to media to the Border Patrol facilities, and we’re working to get that done as soon as we can.”

The Biden administration didn’t even grant Fox News a question at the president’s first solo press briefing last week, let alone access to any facilities. Furthermore, the facilities NBC News was granted access to last week were Health and Human Services facilities, not Border Patrol facilities.

Wallace responded by calling out the White House press secretary’s misinformation and then dropping a stunning contrast between the Biden administration and its predecessor.

At this point, in terms of allowing access to Border Patrol facilities for reporters, you are being less transparent than the Trump administration,” he said.

This triggered Psaki into accusing the Trump administration of turning away illegal alien children.

“Well, first of all, Chris, the Trump administration was turning away kids at the border, sending them back on the treacherous journey, or they were ripping kids from the arms of their parents. We’re not doing that. We are committed to allowing cameras into the Border Patrol facilities, absolutely,” she said.

This too was a lie. The Trump administration didn’t turn them away — rather, it flew them back home, thus dis-incentivizing more children from making the extremely dangerous trek to the border. Biden’s allegedly “compassionate” strategy of instead embracing every child has done the exact opposite.

As of Friday, an estimated 18,000 (and counting) illegal alien children were in U.S. custody, with more crossing the border by the day, by the hour and likely even by the minute. And despite Psaki’s claim otherwise, children were still being separated from their parents.

“The Biden administration is still sheltering children separated from close family members in federal facilities for weeks on end – something immigrant advocates and attorneys had hoped the new administration would resolve by now,” USA Today reported at the start of the month.

The only real differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration are, one, the Biden administration’s lack of transparency, and two, the Biden administration’s choice to incentivize more illegal immigration.

Otherwise, some of the same conditions were seen along the border in 2019. But in response to these conditions, then-President Donald Trump instituted tough policies to discourage additional illegal immigration, and those policies worked.

In a Twitter thread posted late last week, former top Trump administration immigration official Stephen Miller noted that it was these policies discouragement that are genuinely humane, not Biden’s policy of full-blown tolerance.

Look:

His logic appears sound, though clearly, the Biden administration isn’t listening.

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Vivek Saxena

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