President Biden still is not planning on traveling to the southern border, as illegal immigrants rush the crossing and amid reports that the press have been barred from observing detention facilities.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether the president will visit the border, as his administration is spending significant resources for him to travel to Pennsylvania and Georgia on the “Hope Is Here” tour.
“I would say that his focus is on developing solutions, pushing his team, encouraging his team, to develop solutions that will expedite processing at the border, that will open more facilities that will ensure kids are treated with humanity and also treated safely,” Psaki said at Monday’s White House briefing.
“And that’s his focus, and so that’s where he’s putting his efforts on immigration,” she added.
Pressed further on whether the president would visit the crossing, Psaki stated there were no plans for a trip.
She also said the administration was still working on allowing cameras in the border detention centers where thousands of children are being held — a question that has come up at the briefing for weeks.
“We continue to support transparency,” she said. “I know that they’re working through how to provide access in a way that abides by COVID protocols and also protects the privacy of people who are being poor staying in those facilities.”
Psaki also refused to acknowledge that the situation at the border is a “disaster” even though Biden authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist federal authorities with the surge of migrants.
“I know that we always get into the fun of labels around here but I would say our focus is on solutions, and this is one of the steps that the president felt would help, not to become a final solution but to help expedite processing, help ensure that people who are coming across the border have access to health and medical care,” she said.
“Clearly the numbers are enormous. This is a big challenge, and it certainly is a reflection of using every level of the federal government to help address that,” she said.
“I will say that FEMA is there to help ensure that the people who are at the border, who are coming across the border” have access to Health and Human Services shelters, she said.
At that point, the immigration officials can place the children with vetted families.