Psaki: ‘There Certainly Is Not an Open Border’

By Melanie Arter | September 24, 2021 | 12:58pm EDT
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2021. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2021. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday denied that there is an open border despite record numbers of migrants illegally crossing into the United States.

Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki why Haitian migrants are being flown to other parts of Texas and even Arizona without being tested for COVID-19 unless they’re exhibiting symptoms. Even more, he asked why people in those areas are at increased risk of getting COVID because there is an open border.


Psaki denied that there is an open border. 

DOOCY: We understand that basically most of these people that are going into removal proceedings are being put on either buses from Del Rio ro El Paso and Laredo or being flown to Tucson with no COVID testing unless they show symptoms. How is that helping anybody stop the spread?

PSAKI: Again, we have a protocol and process in place as it relates to COVID in terms of testing and quarantining, and also vaccines are provided for a range of migrants by our partner organizations in the region. What is happening now is that as I outlined yesterday is that if individuals cannot be expelled under Title 42, they are placed in removal proceedings as you referred to. 

That may require them being placed in ICE detainment facilities or it may require them being given a notice to appear where biometric data and other data is taken. In terms of their transportation method, I’d certainly point you to the Department of Homeland Security.

DOOCY: But why should somebody, say in Laredo, Texas, or El Paso, or Tucson, Arizona, have to have their chance of catching COVID go up, because hundreds of miles away, there is an open border?

PSAKI: There certainly is not an open border. We are continuing to employ our immigration proceedings and process and restrictions at the border, and that includes the implementation of enforcing Title 42, which is an authority, a public health authority. It includes moving people into either a process for expedited removal or removal proceedings. That is our immigration process that we are proceeding underneath.

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