White House back pedal after Biden mentions “crisis” at the border

Washington-The White House after President Joe Biden called the US-Mexico border situation on the weekend a “crisis” and argued on Monday that it meant the situation in Central America where he fled more people. Retreated.

Biden used the term “crisis” when talking to reporters on Saturday after playing golf in Wilmington, Delaware. He explained why he first showed on Friday that he would maintain the refugee’s Trump era cap. Just announce plans to increase the number in a few hours..

“We’re going to increase the number,” Biden said. “The problem was that the refugee part was tackling a crisis that ended up on the border with youth and we couldn’t do two things at once. And now we’re increasing in number. I’m going. “

More: OnPolitics: Don’t call it a border crisis

White House spokesman Jen Psaki recited the administration’s long-standing position on Monday when asked if the White House now believes there is a “crisis” on the border.

“The president does not feel that children coming to our borders in search of evacuation from violence, financial difficulties and other dire situations are in jeopardy,” she said.

Saki added, “I feel that the crisis in Central America, the dire situation where many people are fleeing, it is a situation where we need to spend time and work hard. And if we do, then We need to deal with it. ” We will prevent the influx of immigrants in the next few years. “

US President Joe Biden waved after playing golf at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware on April 17, 2021.

US President Joe Biden waved after playing golf at Wilmington Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware on April 17, 2021.

More: Immigration will increase by 71% in March as the Biden administration is wrestling with borders

Republicans jumped at Biden’s change in terminology and Saki’s reaction to it.

“Biden spokesman Jen Psaki claims that Biden did not consider the influx of borders to be a” crisis “after calling it a” crisis. ” Republican National Committee tweeted..

“If the White House is looking for a new option to replace Biden’s choice of the word” crisis, “there are several options here. “ Virginia Fox, RN.C. “1. Disaster 2. Catastrophe 3. Failure Make your choice. Everything is accurate.”

Biden faces a rise in Republican enthusiasm as thousands of people, many unaccompanied children, try to enter the United States along the Mexican border. According to a number analysis by Biden administration officials, the US Customs and Border Protection has encountered more than 172,000 people trying to enter the United States along the southwestern border in March, from 100,441 in February.

Biden enjoyed a positive approval rating for the first 88 days, but has a bad reputation for handling the waves of unaccompanied children at the border. Recent polls from AP-NORC Public Relations and Research Center While 40% of Americans objected to the treatment of Biden for children reaching the country’s southern border without parents, only 24% approved it. 35 percent have no opinion either way.

As the number of immigrants from the northern triangles on the border increased, the White House has been aggressively fighting the “crisis” label.Saki refused to call it a crisis Just recently March 22, Made a statement very similar to what she made on Monday.

“The answer is no,” said Alejandro Mallorcas of the Department of Homeland Security on March 1 as to whether there was a crisis at the border. “I think there are challenges in the borders we control. We have the resources to manage them.”

More: Biden raises Trump-era refugee cap in May amid opposition from Democrats

Regarding refugees, the White House initially announced that Biden would sign an urgent decision to maintain the fiscal year’s goal of entering the historically small number of 15,000 refugees set under President Donald Trump.

However, after fierce opposition from Democrats and migrant advocates, the White House has revealed that it expects the president to set a final cap on increased refugees by May 15.

“The public didn’t understand what we were telling the public,” Saki said Monday, claiming that the administration did not reverse its position. She also warned that Biden’s urgent decision to maintain the cap at 15,000 would “if necessary, a subsequent presidential decision could be issued to increase admission.” Said that.

Contributions: Courtney Subramanian and Rebecca Morin. Contact Joey Garrison on Twitter @ joeygarrison.

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: White House back pedal to Biden’s comment on the “crisis” at the border