(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Wednesday that despite the record number of migrants crossing the border last month, almost half of that number were removed from the U.S.
As CNSNews.com reported, there were 210,000 “encounters” with migrants along the southwest border in July, the highest monthly figure in two decades.
Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, “On immigration, it’s been almost four months since the president told migrants, ‘don’t come. Don’t leave your town,’ almost two months since the vice president went to Central America to say, ‘Do not come,’ but people are coming in record numbers. Does the president think his immigration plan is working?”
PSAKI: The president continues to convey to anyone as you’ve said who wants to come to the United States, now is not the time to come. It is not the time to come and try to go through regular migration. We want to have an effective process where you can apply for asylum, where you can apply for legal status.
We have increased our investment in areas like the Central American Minors program, allowing people to apply from within country so they are not making that dangerous trip. There’s more that needs to be done.
We’ve also instituted a number of additional steps recently, including expedited removals to move people out of the country more quickly, but it’s-- we’re still at work on improving a proc -- improving a system that was very broken when we took office.
DOOCY: So the message to migrants is the same even though they are coming at a 21-year high, 210,000 encounters at the border last month.
PSAKI: And I would also note the number of people who were removed from the border, which is an important part of the context, which was almost half of that number.
DOOCY: But he’s saying, ‘Don’t come, and they’re coming.
PSAKI: Well there are a number of factors as you well know that are happening in these countries, and we’re working to address those as well, and the vice president is leading those efforts. We don’t expect that to be a switch, but addressing root causes in these countries - corruption, economic downturn. People are fleeing a range of challenges, of persecution. Those are issues we need to address at the same time.