Psaki Calls Border Situation a ‘Crisis,’ Walks It Back After Reporter Points It Out


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called the situation at the border a “crisis,” but walked it back after reporters asked if her comments represented a change in the Biden administration’s view of the influx of migrants at the border.

During a press briefing on Thursday, Psaki was asked if the administration was sending vaccines to Mexico to try get Mexican officials to help curb the surge in immigration.

“There have been expectations…unrelated to any vaccine doses or requests for them that they would be partners in dealing with the crisis on the border,” Psaki responded.

Another reported picked up on her use of the word “crisis” and asked if that represents a change in the administration’s view of the situatiion.

“Challenges on the border,” she responded.

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She also said her use of “crisis” did not represent a change.

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Biden administration officials have resisted labeling the situation a “crisis” as the country is on pace to see the highest number of border crossing in 20 years.

Psaki has previously declined to use the phrase “crisis” or “disaster” when asked if those were appropriate descriptors of the situation.

“I know that we always get into the fun of labels around here,” she told reporters earlier this week. “But, I would say our focus is on solutions, and this is one of the steps that the president felt would help not become a final solution, but help expedite processing, help ensure that people who are coming across the border have access to health and medical care.”

She added, “Clearly, the numbers are enormous. This is a big challenge and it certainly is a reflection of using every lever of the federal government to help address that.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has also resisted calling it a crisis. During a House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, Republican lawmakers attempted to get Mayorkas to call the situation a crisis.

However, he said, “I’m not spending any time on the language that we use.”

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“I am spending time on the operational response to the situation at the border,” he added.

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