White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre struggled to explain why the Biden administration needs to deploy troops to the border that she has described as “secure.”
“Because we need more work. We need more—work needs to be done,” Jean-Pierre said Tuesday when asked by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy why, if the border is secure, the administration is sending the military. “Republicans in Congress refused to act. …We are putting … forth processes to deal with the changes that are going to be ahead of us.”
Jean-Pierre’s attempt to downplay the administration’s Tuesday decision to deploy 1,500 active-duty troops to the border ahead of an expected surge in migration this month came a day after she falsely claimed that “illegal immigration” has “come down by more than 90 percent.” Illegal immigration actually hit a record-high in 2022 of 2.76 million encounters.
Jean-Pierre has repeatedly claimed the situation at the southern border is not out of control and said she agreed with Vice President Kamala Harris’s claim that the border is “secure.”
In spite of repeated assurances by Jean-Pierre, Harris, and Department of Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that the border is secure the administration plans to send 1,500 active duty troops to the border ahead of the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that allows border agents to turn away migrants. The troops will assist agents with administrative duties, Politico reported, joining 2,500 National Guard troops already deployed at the border.
Hundreds of Department of Homeland Security staffers are also shifting focus ahead of an anticipated border surge, receiving training this week to help in catch-and-release efforts through May and June.
“Once again, the Biden administration is using the rest of the government to wave more migrants through,” a senior Homeland Security official told the Washington Free Beacon on the condition of anonymity. The administration has given $290 million to a George Soros-linked nonprofit that works to help illegal immigrants fight deportation.
Jean-Pierre on Tuesday also attempted to defend her claim that “illegal migration” has “come down by more than 90 percent.” She said that she was referring to an immigration parole program instituted by President Joe Biden, which allows non-citizens with a family member in the United States to apply to legally enter the country to join them.
“I was speaking to the parolee program. … The president put in place a parolee program to deal with certain countries on ways that we can limit illegal migration” Jean-Pierre said. “The data has shown us that it has gone down by more than 90 percent.”
It’s unclear what data Jean-Pierre was referring to, since data from Customs and Border Protection show border encounters in recent months are on track with last years record-breaking numbers.