HHS Secretary says ‘not a crisis’ – Psaki won’t ‘play Games with what it’s called’ amid 100k surge

Fox News:

The word the Biden administration won’t use when it comes to the border? ‘Crisis’

Mayorkas, who last week flat-out denied there was a crisis, this week emailed DHS staff urging them to volunteer to help CBP at the border amid what he described as “overwhelming” numbers.

“It doesn’t matter what you call it. It is an enormous challenge,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday, before saying: “We don’t feel the need to, you know, play games with what it’s called.”

Psaki said earlier this week about a “crisis”: “I don’t think we need to sit here and put new labels on what we have already conveyed is challenging, what we have conveyed is a top priority for the president.”

The Biden administration is facing what it admits is an “overwhelming” number of migrants at the southern border while scrambling to construct new facilities to hold child migrants — but it is doggedly refusing to describe the situation as a “crisis.”

Agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas are encountering 1,500 migrants a day, overwhelming the sector — and Fox News on Saturday obtained exclusive photographs of a temporary outdoor processing site there in Mission, Texas.

This site is near the point of contact after the migrants illegally cross the Rio Grande River. There, they sort them among family units, unaccompanied minors and single adults and bus them to the appropriate destinations.

But the administration isn’t calling the situation a crisis.

“It doesn’t matter what you call it. It is an enormous challenge,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday, before saying: “We don’t feel the need to, you know, play games with what it’s called.”

While numbers have been increasing at the border for months, particularly of unaccompanied children (UACs) and family units, they have spiked since President Biden took office. The number of UACs in custody has tripled in recent weeks, while there were more than 100,000 migrant encounters in February.

Critics have blamed the dramatic liberalizing of immigration policy and rollback of Trump-era border protections for encouraging the flow and removing the tools that allow migrants to be kept out or returned to their home countries.

The Biden administration has claimed it is moving to replace the “cruelty” of the prior administration with a more “humane” system and warned that will take time. But it has refused to acknowledge that there is in fact a “crisis” — preferring instead to describe it as a “challenge.”

“I think that the — the answer is no. I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said last week.

Psaki said earlier this week about a “crisis”: “I don’t think we need to sit here and put new labels on what we have already conveyed is challenging, what we have conveyed is a top priority for the president.”

Last week, Biden said “no” when asked the same question.

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