Psaki On Biden Keeping Migrant Kids In ‘Containers’ Versus ‘Cages’: ‘We Only Have A Couple Of Choices’

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki avoided directly answering questions from Fox News' Peter Doocy about the Biden administration’s detention facilities for children apprehended at the U.S. border

Per Daily Wire:

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki avoided directly answering multiple questions from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy on Wednesday afternoon about the Biden administration’s decision to open detention facilities for children apprehended at the U.S. border while trying to enter the country.

“We’ve seen some photos now of containers. Is there a better description?” Doocy asked. “Is it kids in containers instead of kids in cages? What is the the White House’s description of this facility?”

“Well, let me give a broader description of what’s happening here,” she responded. “We have a number of unaccompanied minors, children who are coming into the country without their families, what we are not doing, what the last administration did, was separate those kids, rip them from the arms of their parents at the border, we are not doing that. That is immoral. And that is not the approach of this administration. These kids, we have a couple of options, we can send them back home and do a dangerous journey back, we are not doing that either. That is also putting them at risk.”

“We can quickly transfer them from CBP to these HHS run facilities. That’s one option, or we can put them with families and sponsors without any vetting. There were some problems that that that that process ran into as well. We’ve chosen the middle option,” she continued. “And these HHS facilities. This is one of them, you’re referring to, we had to expand and open additional facilities, because there was not enough space in the existing facilities … if we were to abide by COVID protocols. That’s the process and the step. This facility in Texas, which has been reopened, has been revamped has been there are teachers there is medical facilities and our objective is to move them move these kids quickly from there to vetted, sponsored families and to places where they can safely be. This is a difficult situation. It’s a difficult choice. That’s the choice we’ve made.”

Doocy later asked about a tweet from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that mildly criticized the Biden administration over the decision to open the facilities.

Psaki claimed that she did not know what AOC wrote, saying that the situation at the border was “heartbreaking” but that that Biden administration “only have a couple of choices.”

When asked whether the administration would support allowing reporters into the facilities to see what the conditions there were like for the children, Psaki deflected, saying that Doocy would need to ask a different department in the administration.

TRANSCRIPT:

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS REPORTER: Thanks, Jen, we spoke yesterday about immigration and this facility, HHS facility, in Carrizo Springs, Texas, for migrant children and you said, it is not kids in cages. We’ve seen some photos now of containers. Is there a better description? Is it kids in containers instead of kids in cages? What is the the White House’s description of this facility? 

JEN PSAKI: Well, let me give a broader description of what’s happening here. We have a number of unaccompanied minors, children who are coming into the country without their families, what we are not doing, what the last administration did, was separate those kids, rip them from the arms of their parents at the border, we are not doing that. That is immoral. And that is not the approach of this administration. These kids, we have a couple of options, we can send them back home and do a dangerous journey back, we are not doing that either. That is also putting them at risk. We can quickly transfer them from CBP to these HHS run facilities. That’s one option, or we can put them with families and sponsors without any vetting. There were some problems that that that that process ran into as well. We’ve chosen the middle option. And these HHS facilities. This is one of them, you’re referring to, we had to expand and open additional facilities, because there was not enough space in the existing facilities … if we were to abide by COVID protocols. That’s the process and the step. This facility in Texas, which has been reopened, has been revamped has been there are teachers there is medical facilities and our objective is to move them move these kids quickly from there to vetted, sponsored families and to places where they can safely be. This is a difficult situation. It’s a difficult choice. That’s the choice we’ve made.

DOOCY: So, just one step back from that, we’ve been talking to people down at the border who say that right now, DHS and the Border Patrol are using the same kind of facilities now that they did during the Trump administration, and there’s a facility right now it’s in Donna, Texas, instead of McAllen, Texas, but it’s tents and chain link fence around it.

PSAKI: A CBP facility, before they’re transferred to the HHS facilities, is that what you’re referring to?

DOOCY: Yes. And the the issue would be that just in the last couple days, they had hundreds of kids that they were holding for over 72 hours, which is the legal limit, to keep somebody in a temporary facility. So I’m just curious, why is that happening?

PSAKI: Let’s be clear, though, because I know you want to be clear with the public about the differences, the CBP facilities, which you’re right, the objective is to move kids, unaccompanied minors, as quickly as possible under 72 hours to these HHS fund sponsored facilities, which is the one where we’ve been referring to in Texas, they are two different things. There has been some, there were some delays last week because of weather and because some of these facilities to safely move these kids to, did not have power, and we’re not in a place where they could they had the capacity to take in these kids and do it safely. That is not our objective. That is not our goal. So some unfortunately did state four days five days or longer, but the objective is to move them as quickly as possible to the HHS sponsored facilities.

DOOCY: Has the White House seen the comment from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, speaking about that HHS facility in Carrizo springs said, ‘This is not okay. Never has been okay. Never will be okay. No matter the administration or party.’

PSAKI: Well, I think the difficulty is, I haven’t seen the full context of the quote or interview, of the tweet that was that she shared. But I would say the difficulty is what I outlined earlier, we have kids coming across the border, it is heartbreaking. I think we all as human beings are heartbroken as parents as mothers fathers, too. We only have a couple of choices. What we are not doing is dividing these kids and separating from their parents at the border, which is what the last administration did, and why President Biden or then candidate Biden and then candidate Harris, were outspoken at the time about these kids being pulled from their parents. What we are doing is working as quickly as possible to process these kids into these HHS facilities, which has been revamped, which have medical and educational services available so that we can then transfer them to families. That’s what our approaches.

DOOCY: So, if there is this big difference would be administration support, it can be done but safely because of COVID and with privacy concerns for the children of mind, would the administration support letting reporters in and precedent to see what the difference is?

PSAKI: I think you’d have to talk to the Department of Homeland Security about that. They’re obviously safety protocols about that privacy concerns, but I certainly encourage you to reach out about that.