White House press secretary Jen Psaki claims the “new” detention facilities in Texas, the same center former President Trump was viciously attacked for keeping “kids in cages” have “been revamped” due to the Biden Administration main focus on providing detained migrant children quality access to “educational services,” despite failing to re-open schools for Americans nationwide.
During Thursday’s White House daily press briefing, Psaki was questioned by an NBC reporter, who happened to be the 2020 presidential debate moderator last October about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) being “displeased with” the Biden administration handling child migrants being held at detention facilities.
The press secretary attempted to justify the reasoning for the administration reopening the detention center in Texas, the facility that was only opened for a month amid accusations the Trump administration were keeping “kids in cages,” this time by now claiming that these children are “fleeing prosecution” and “threats in their own countries.”
“What is happening now is there are children fleeing prosecution, fleeing threats in their own countries, traveling on their own, unaccompanied, to the border. And our focus is on approaching this from the view of humanity and from and with safety in mind,” Psaki responded.
“And so the steps that we have taken is. They are, of course, processed as quickly as possible, ideally with a maximum of three days, through CBP. Then they are transferred to facilities overseen by HHS,” Psaki added. “We had to open — reopen a new facility that had previously been closed because of COVID protocols, because we can’t have kids in beds next to each other; we need space appropriate. It’s been revamped. There is educational services there are health services and medical services. But our objective is to move them as quickly as we can to families that have been vetted and too, of course, reunite kids with their families.”
Welker pressed on, asking Psaki how would she respond to Ocasio-Cortez’s “it’s not ok,” viewpoint.
Psaki began dancing in circles despite the mounting criticism by listing off “a couple of options,” neither that was done by the previous administration that includes returning the child migrants back to a “very dangerous journey,” or to foster families that were “not vetted.” Under the Trump administration, unaccompanied children were first vetted by attempting to find their families and then returning them back by flying those found to be reunited.
After exaggerating the choices, the press secretary said the “best option” at the new Texas facility is to process the child migrants so they are “safe” and will now have “access to educational and medical care.”
“Our best option, in our view, is to get these kids processed through HHS facilities where there are COVID protocols in place, where they are safe, where they can have access to educational and medical care,” Psaki said before moving on.
Earlier, Psaki appeared on the ABC’s “The View” where she continued to push the false narrative of the Trump administration “ripping children from the arms of their parents,” in defense of Biden reopening the center.
“It’s absolutely not the same thing,” Psaki told one of The View’s host Meghan McCain who asked about the reopening. “We’re absolutely not doing what the former president did and what, frankly, the current president and the current vice president objected to, which is ripping kids from the arms of their parents. That is not the policy of this administration and not something we would do.”
Psaki added that the Biden administration has struggled with how to “humanely” treat unaccompanied minors arguing they had to “revamp” the Texas facility by now offering medical, education, and legal services for those unaccompanied migrant children who have arrived at the border.
“We had to have educational services, so we could have legal services and medical and health services and have those kids there treated humanely until we can find proper homes, family placements for these kids,”
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), more than 400 migrant children were referred to centers just on Tuesday, an alarming rate compared to the 30-day average reported in June 2019, the peak of the surge that saw 294 recorded under the former president tenure. Experts are now blaming Biden’s policy reversal of quickly expel unaccompanied migrant children who crossed the border amid the pandemic as the main reason for the uptick.
While the Biden administration felt compelled by making sure illegal children are “treated humanely” and provided educational services they claim the previous administration didn’t offer, the president and other of his officials have refused in recent weeks to push back for the re-opening up schools for American citizens, despite promising to do so within the first 100 days.
Biden has faced increased scrutiny on reopening schools this month due to the teachers union, the UFT is forcing teachers not to return back to the classroom unless their demands are met. Despite given the green light from the Center and Disease Control (CDC) that schools are safe to reopen and teachers don’t need the COVID vaccine, Biden has refrained from fighting back with one of his biggest campaign donors and are caving to their ultimatum, in spite of claiming that he would listen to the science for guidance.