White House and Fox News in War of Words Over Illegal Immigration. As the question-and-answer session got hot over the ongoing problem with illegal immigrants, Peter Doocy, a White House reporter for Fox News, got into another tense exchange with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
When President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he immediately undid most of his predecessor’s strict immigration and border enforcement policies. Republicans say this has led to record numbers of illegal crossings and the smuggling of drugs like fentanyl, which kill nearly 100,000 Americans every year.
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Doocy was going to ask a question about the thousands of illegal immigrants who arrived this week at Eagle Pass, Texas. But Jean-Pierre interrupted with her own question, which led to the angry argument. She yelled before moving on to other reporters:
DOOCY: So, what do you call it here at the White House when 10,000 people illegally cross the border in a single day?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, what do you call it, Peter, when GOP puts forth a — wait, no —
DOOCY: Asking are you —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m answering.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no, no, no, no, you can’t —
DOOCY: Karine —
Okay, we’re going to move on.
DOOCY: You’re answering a question —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no, no —
DOOCY: — with a question.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no — no, no, no. We’re moving on.
DOOCY: Karine, please —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: We’re moving. In the back. Go ahead.
A lot of people asked Jean-Pierre about the current migrant situation, and she did answer some of them:
Yesterday, the government said that it would give temporary legal standing to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. At the same time, Eagle Pass, which is on the Rio Grande, has declared a state of emergency because of a large number of immigrants. Is there any chance that the timing of this Venezuelan TPS news could make things worse in Eagle Pass right now? It’s basically a question of whether this will make things worse in Eagle Pass.
Ms. Jean-Pierre: Look, we’ve worked very hard—the President has worked very hard—to put in place a policy for the border that is humane, safe, and enforced in a planned way. We have tried very hard to do that for the past two years.
It’s important to note that we also announced a couple of things yesterday, which I’m sure you already know. We are stepping up the fight against smuggling and trafficking by going after more traders and non-citizens who break our rules. Do you agree? This is something we said yesterday.
As well, 800 more active-duty military members are being sent to help with border operations and get CBP officers and agents out in the field. All of this is on top of the 2,500 National Guard members who were already sent.
And making Fentanyl [Family] Expedited Removal Management bigger.
These are the three other things we talked about along with the Venezuela TPS yesterday.
Along the southwest border, there are 24,000 CBP officials and police. Let’s not forget them.
What the Republicans wanted to do should also not be forgotten. They kept their promise, even though it meant firing 800 CBP agents and officers and letting 50,000 pounds of cocaine, more than 300 pounds of fentanyl, more than 700 pounds of heroin, and more than 6,000 pounds of other drugs into the country.
To do everything we can to solve this problem, we have taken steps without the help of Republicans in Congress.
That is what they said they would do just yesterday. That’s what it would do to the border: hurt and harm without solving the problem.
Basically, they are going against what the President wants, which is to move forward in a way that is safe, kind, and follows a well-organized plan for execution.