WH Walks Back Biden Reference to Immigration 'Crisis' (Getty)
Monday, 19 April 2021 08:23 PM
When President Joe Biden used the term "crisis" in discussing the immigration picture over the weekend, many observers called it the first time he'd used the word in connection with the flood of migrants looking to gain entry to the U.S .
But on Monday, the White House walked back the quote, in which he made reference to the "crisis that ended up on the border with young people."
Said White House press spokeswoman Jen Psaki, he wasn't referring to migrants crossing the border, she insisted at a news conference.
Rather, she said, he was talking about crisis conditions in Central America that are driving people to leave their homes.
"The president does not feel that children coming to our border seeking refuge from violence, economic hardships, and other dire circumstances is a crisis," Psaki said during a press briefing on Monday, Fox News reported. "He does feel that the crisis in Central America, the dire circumstances that many are fleeing from, that that is a situation we need to spend our time, our effort on, and we need to address it if we’re going to prevent more of an influx of migrants from coming in years to come."
Biden has up to this point resisted calling the border situation a crisis, even as migrant children, many unaccompanied, flood facilities, and as authorities have recorded tens of thousands of migrant encounters in March alone.
Rather, he has dubbed it a "challenge" despite fierce political criticisms. Among the highest-profile critics is former President Donald Trump, who on Monday tweeted that Biden should restore a travel ban. Trump, interviewed by Fox News' Sean Hannity, also insisted that the deteroriating situation at the border had arisen because Biden had opted to change his administration's strong actions and policies concerning immigration.