White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the Biden administration is looking for new facilities to house unattended migrant children who come to the U.S. border.
Psaki was asked on Tuesday if the administration needs to revise its message on its immigration policy to warn migrants that if they travel to the border, they will likely be turned away.
She responded, “We are continuing to work to convey to people in the region that this is not the time to come, that the majority of people who come to the border will be turned away. Which is factually accurate.”
However, she said that officials are letting unattended migrant children cross the border as she said officials determined that was the “most humane approach to addressing what are very difficult circumstances in the region.”
Officials are letting unattended minors cross the border and holding them in shelters until they can be reunited with their families.
“And that means, there are more children, kids under the age of 18 coming across the border,” she added.
Watch the video below:
.@PressSec: "We are continuing to work to convey to people in the region that this is not the time to come, that the majority of people who come to the border will be turned away." pic.twitter.com/z4sGUzSYII
— The Hill (@thehill) March 9, 2021
The Biden administration has implemented a policy to temporarily hold unattended migrant children in Border Patrol facilities until officials can locate their families to reunite them.
Recent reports have indicated that there are roughly 3,200 migrant children in Customs and Border Protection custody. CNN reports that 2,600 migrant children are “awaiting placement in shelters suitable for minors.”
The number of unattended migrant children who have made the trek to the border poses a new challenge for the administration as officials struggle to keep pace with processing them and vetting families or sponsors so they can be released from Border Patrol custody.
Psaki was pressed on whether the reports on the number of migrant children in Border Patrol custody is accurate.
“Those numbers are tracked by the Department of Homeland Security. I’m just suggesting that you talk to them,” she responded.
A reporter noted that the department “won’t confirm the numbers.”
“I would encourage you to go back to them and ask them again… It’s not our program,” Psaki said.
Watch the video below:
.@PressSec: "Those numbers are tracked by the Department of Homeland Security. I'm just suggesting that you talk to them…"
Q: "We talked to them, Jen. They won't confirm the numbers."
Psaki: "I would encourage you to go back to them & ask them again…It's not our program." pic.twitter.com/gXmEcWV5fI
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 9, 2021
She also said that the administration is currently looking for new facilities to house the migrant children, “We’re looking at additional facilities where we can safely house children and ensure they have access to all of these resources.”
“We don’t want them to be in the CBP facilities,” Psaki continued. “We want them to be in shelters as quickly as possible, and ultimately in families and homes where their applications can be processed. But we’re looking to expedite the way we vet families and sponsor homes as well.”
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