After weeks of refusing to call the crossings that have overwhelmed border posts a “crisis,” the administration is making an aggressive attempt to defuse the situation and the toxic politics it has stirred in Washington.
“I know what’s going on in those facilities,” Biden said after returning to the White House from Camp David, pledging to travel to the border himself “at some point.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, on TV on Sunday, dismissed accusations that the Biden administration reversed some of ex-President Donald Trump’s policies it considered inhumane before it was ready to handle an influx. He could not give a precise timeline for when thousands of children could be moved from cramped border patrol stations to more suitable accommodation that is especially crucial amid the pandemic.
Mayorkas also would not guarantee immediate press access to the inside of migrant border posts, citing restrictions due to Covid-19. The failure to do so has called into question the new White House’s vows for more transparency and Biden’s own pledge to always level with Americans and to tell them the truth about the extent of national crises.
The Homeland Security secretary also sought to counter false claims by Biden’s Republican critics that the new White House has simply thrown open the border to everyone.”We are elevating our messaging, so that the individuals do know that they cannot come to the border. The border is closed,” Mayorkas told Bash.