(CNSNews.com) – White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that just because Title 42 is expiring on Wednesday, that does not mean the southern border is open, and she accused Republicans who have said that the border is open of “doing the work of smugglers.”
Jean-Pierre was asked about the accuracy of estimates of 50,000 migrants waiting to cross the border once Title 42 ends and whether that would overwhelm the Border Patrol.
“So look, I don’t have a number for you at this time. What I can say is that we know smugglers will try to spread misinformation to try to take advantage of these vulnerable migrants, but I want to be very clear here,” the press secretary said.
“The fact is that the removal of Title 42 does not mean the border is open. Anyone who suggests otherwise is simply doing the work of these smugglers, who again are spreading misinformation, and which is very dangerous,” she said.
“When Title 42 goes away, as we have to do because of a court order, which is on Wednesday as all of you know, we’ll go back to Title 8, which allows a process to make sure that people can make their asylum claims heard,” Jean-Pierre said.
“Those who do not have a legal basis to remain will be quickly removed, and so we will continue to fully enforce our immigration laws in a fair, orderly and humane manner, but again, we need Congress to deliver on the funding that we’re requesting from them,” the press secretary added.
“Republican-led states have asked the Supreme Court to intervene and not allow Title 42 to expire on Wednesday as a different court has said. Is there any reaction to that? And is the administration in some way hoping that the court will intervene and extend Title 42 to help you all out of this situation that is brewing at the border?” a reporter asked.
“So look, I’m not going to get into any legal determinations or speculations or you know jump– get ahead of the process here. DOJ is clearly leading this investigation. What I can tell you is what the homeland security has been doing. As you all know, Secretary Mayorkas was at the border just last week,” the press secretary said.
“He talked about how they are surging resources to the border, and we have additional robust planning under way, but we need Congress to give us the funds we’ve requested to do this in a safe, orderly, and humane way, and here’s the thing,” Jean-Pierre said.
“If Republican Congress are serious about protecting the border, if they are serious about securing the border, if they are serious about the challenges that we’re currently seeing, that they should be able to, be able to get involved here and make sure that the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security have the resources they need, they are going to need to do their jobs,” she said.
The White House is asking Congress for $3.5 billion in funding to deal with the surge.
In El Paso, Texas, which has been inundated with migrants, DHS has “deployed additional agents and processing capabilities,” and “23,000 agents are working to secure the southern border,” which Jean-Pierre said is “the most ever that we’ve ever seen doing this work, and it’s in addition to nearly 1,000 Border Patrol processing coordinators.”
“DHS has also put in place technologies like linear ground detection systems and automated surveillance towers, and is increasing security at ports of entry. They’re also adding 10 soft-sided CBP holding facilities,” the press secretary said.
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