White House Press Secretary: 'We Agree That The Border Is Secure'

Melanie Arter | September 15, 2022 | 7:59pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) - White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that the White House agrees with Vice President Kamala Harris “that the border is secure, but there is still more work to be done.”

As CNSNews.com previously reported, Harris told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” that “The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular, over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed."

NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker asked the press secretary Thursday: “On the topic of immigration, the vice president said to my colleague Chuck Todd over the weekend that the border is secure. She also caveated that to say that we have a broken immigration system and talked about the need to fix that, but does the White House stand by those comments that the border is secure?”

JEAN-PIERRE: What we stand by is that we are doing everything that we can to make sure that we follow the process that’s been put forth. That’s why we have historic funding to do just that, to make sure that the folks that we encounter at the border be removed or expelled, and again, the facts are more individuals encountered at the border will be removed or expelled this year than in any previous year. That’s the work that we have been doing.

WELKER: Is the border secure?

JEAN-PIERRE: I’m just going to go back to the vice president. We agree with her. She is saying that there’s a lot of work to do, right? She also said that in that very statement. We agree that the border is secure, but there is still more work to be done. 

WELKER: The question becomes how you can make that argument when DHS has said it’s bracing for these potentially 2 million migrants to come which would be record.

JEAN-PIERRE: We’ll say this. Rebuilding the immigration system especially one that was decimated under the previous administration won’t happen overnight. We’re not going to flip a switch and get that done. That’s what I said at the beginning. We know that there’s work to be done, but we’re doing the work to make sure that we remove and expel folks who are coming here who are being encountered at the border. 

So as the actions as I’ve listed out show, we’re committed to getting it done and getting it done right. We need to do it in a humane way. We need to do it in a safe way, and as we have repeatedly said, a long-term solution will truly come through legislation that brings lasting reform to a fundamentally broken system. We have understand that, and that’s why we continue to call on Congress to also act, so we get it. 

It’s a fundamental long-term issue but we are also doing the work, and you know, I have to say the work that— what we’re seeing Republicans doing, elected officials using migrants as a pawn is not the way to move forward on this. That’s not how we’re going to get this done. If they want to help us, then they should help us by voting for funding that will get the Department of Homeland Security funding that they need to fix the system or by helping pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. 

So one more thing I want to say, according to NPR, the migrants said a woman, they identify as Perla approached them and lured them into boarding the plane, saying they would be flown to Boston where they could get expedited work papers. The migrants said she, Perla, offered us help, help that never arrived. That’s not how you treat people.

That’s inhumane. That’s not how we should be doing things. There is a process in place. Yes, is there more work to be done? Yes, absolutely, but there is a process in place, and that’s what we should be– that’s what these governors should be doing. 

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