(CNSNews.com) – The White House on Tuesday refused to comment on reports that the Biden administration is planning to return to detaining migrant families, a practice that President Biden did away with when he entered office, once Title 42 expires in May.
The policy of detaining migrant families again is one of several options the administration is considering as they prepare for the end of Title 42, according to unnamed administration officials, Reuters reports.
“On immigration: So, we’re hearing that this idea to detain families in detention, again, is one of a lot of policies that are currently under consideration as Title 42 restrictions are going to possibly end on May 11. So I wondered if you can rule out family detention or what can you say about the idea that, you know, families may or may not be detained — migrant families may or may not be detained at the border,” a reporter asked.
“So I’m not going to go in on rumors that are out there or conversations that are happening at this time,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.
“The department, as you know — as you just noted, Colleen, the Department of Homeland Security is certainly to — is certainly continuing to prepare for the eventual lift of Title 42. No decisions have been made, but we’ve been very clear on how we’re looking — how the president wants to move forward,” she said.
“And he’s been clear from the start, from the beginning of his administration: by putting forth a comprehensive immigration reform, and his approach has been making sure that we expand legal pathways for asylum seekers, limiting illegal immigration, addressing root causes, and also increasing border security,” the press secretary said.
“That’s how the president has seen the process moving forward. That has been his approach, and what he wants to do is build a system, build an immigration system that is secure, that is orderly, and that is humane, and that’s how we’re going to move forward as we — as we, you know, look — look towards Title 42 eventually lifting,” she said.
“As you know, it’s going to be as soon as May 11th, and that’s going to be the president’s focus,” Jean-Pierre said.
“I understand no decisions have been made, but, you know, the president, shortly after he came to office, put an end to this policy of detaining migrant families as a candidate. He said, ‘We should not be locking people up.’ You aren’t ruling it out either. So why is this even being considered as a possible option now?” ABC White House Correspondent Mary Bruce asked.
JEAN-PIERRE: I’m just not com- — I’m just not going to comment on rumors that are out there. I’m not saying it’s being considered. I’m not saying any —
BRUCE: But you’re not saying it’s not.
JEAN-PIERRE: But I’m not saying it is, and I’m not saying it is not. I’m saying that I’m not going to speak to rumors. There are rumors out there. Clearly, the Department of Homeland Security is working through ways on how to move forward once Title 42 is lifted.
I’m just not going to get into speculations. I’m going to let them do their work, and what I will say, and I just laid this out for Colleen: We have laid out over and over and over again putting forth policies on how the president sees the process moving forward. Right?
He is going to use the tools that he has before him to make sure that we deal with an immigration system or we build an immigration system that’s, again, safe, orderly, and humane, and we’ve increased — expanded legal pathways for immigration. We have tried to limit — worked very hard to limit illegal immigration into this country by — also by making sure that the border was secure.
Again, this is something that Republicans could work with us on. He put forward an immigration policy — a comprehensive immigration policy — on day one, but what we’re seeing on the other side is political stunts. That’s what they want to do. We’re not looking to do political stunts; we’re looking to deal with a real issue.
BRUCE: I imagine the president is looking for a way to tackle this issue that is safe, orderly, and humane. Is there ever an instance in which he thinks detaining migrant families can be safe, orderly, and humane?
JEAN-PIERRE: I’m just not going to get into — again, that’s diving into speculation that out — that’s out there, conversation — rumored conversations. What I can lay out to you is his approach, and it’s been — we’ve been very clear on our approach these past two years.
BRUCE: Is there — just one more. Is there a hope here that by — that the threat of family detention may be a deterrent?
JEAN-PIERRE: Look, this is a rumored conversation that I’m just not going to weigh in even by answering that question. I’m just not going to weigh into rumors that are out there.
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