House Speaker Nancy Pelosi provided her take Friday on the state of the situation with immigrants at the border that the Biden administration does not want to call a ‘crisis’ – terming it ‘under control.’
Pelosi made the statement at a press briefing at the Capitol, after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had to walk back her own comment Thursday after briefly referring to the crush of childhood migrants at the southern border as a ‘crisis.’
When a reporter asked her to follow up, Psaki corrected herself and referred to ‘challenges’ at the border.
‘The Biden administration has this under control,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday when asked about the situation at the southern border
Pelosi, asked for her view, described thematic changes from the Trump administration.
‘The Biden administration has this under control. It is changed. And it will take some time. But it is values based. Humanitarian in its aspects. Pragmatic with a plan to get things done,’ she said.
‘I think that the administration is pulling this thing under control, and I think it’s important to know that,’ Pelosi said.
She contrasted the situation with attitude of the Trump Administration, and added: ‘In the spring, more people do come, so there will be more.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will visit the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso on Friday with a group of bipartisan senators
Migrants detained by US Customs and Border Protection are pictured in a makeshift holding facility beneath “Paso Del Norte” bridge, between downtown El Paso and Ciudad Juarez
She said of potential immigrants: ‘They have to know as the president has said, don’t come,’ she said.
‘It is change and it will take some time, but it is values-based, humanitarian,’ she continued, calling it ‘pragmatic with a plan to get things done.’
HHS head Alejandro Mayorkas pointedly chose not to use the word ‘crisis’ when appearing at the White House, but in a congressional appearance called it ‘undoubtedly difficult.’
Mayorkas visisted the border Friday with senators from both parties amid policy challenges and political blowback – with Republicans blaming the problem on Biden’s immigration policies, which they say are acting as a draw for migrants.
The trip was closed to the media – ‘due to privacy and COVID-19 precautions,’ the Department of Homeland Security said.
In the latest sign of what the administration faces, Customs and Border Protection has requested aircraft to move migrants in its custody to processing facilities on the Canadian border to alleviate the crunch, the Washington Post reported.
The agency sought assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to relocate people after 1,000 families and unaccompanied children crossed the border Friday morning alone. Another 1,000 people had yet to be processed.
News organizations have been requesting permission to visit the shelters housing thousands of migrant children amid reports the kids don’t have enough beds to sleep in or food to eat.
Federal officials have repeatedly denied access to the press although lawyers and some human rights groups have gotten inside.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday the administration hopes to have an answer on the press visits ‘soon.’
‘The White House and we all in the administration support finding a way to grant access to the media to the … shelters where these children are staying for a temporary period of time,’ she said. ‘We remain committed to transparency, and we’re considering potential options, and we hope to have an update on that soon.’
Mayorkas’ group on Friday will ‘view operations and receive a briefing on the processing, shelter, and transfer of unaccompanied children arriving at our border,’ the DHS said in a statement.
The Homeland Security secretary will be accompanied by Democratic Senators Gary Peters and Chris Murphy and Republican Senators Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito.
Republicans have blamed the record number of border crossings on the Biden administration, claiming the president’s repeal of Donald Trump’s stricter policies has led to the surge.
But Biden administration officials, including the president himself, have said the border is closed and asked migrants not to come.
‘I can say quite clearly: Don’t come over,’ Biden told ABC News in an interview this week.
‘Don’t leave your town or city or community,’ he added.