WH’s Psaki: Migrants Setting Up Camps in U.S. ‘Not Intending to Stay Here for a Lengthy Period of Time’

By Craig Bannister | September 20, 2021 | 4:23pm EDT
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki

Asking people who walk across the border into the U.S. to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID is “not the same thing” as requiring people who fly into the country to do so, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.

Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy asked Psaki if foreign nationals who walk across the border and set up camps in Del Rio, Texas are being asked by border agents to prove they’re not infected with the coronavirus:

"Is somebody asking the foreign nationals who are walking into Del Rio, Texas and setting up camps on this side of the border for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test?"

“That's the policy for people who fly into the country. So, if somebody walks into the country, right across river, does someone ask to see a vaccination card?” Doocy repeated when Psaki started to repeat the administration’s COVID policies.

“They are not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time. It's not the same thing,” Psaki claimed, explaining that migrants are detained only if they show symptoms of having coronavirus:

“Let me explain to you, again, Peter, how our process works. As individuals come across the border, they are both assessed for whether they have any symptoms. If they have symptoms, the intention is for them to be quarantined. That is our process. They are not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time. It's not the same thing.”

Psaki added that the Bush Administration is relying on the use of title 42, a policy instituted by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, to expel migrants coming from countries where infectious diseases are prevalent:

“These are individuals, as we have noted and as we have been discussed. We are expelling individuals based on title 42, specifically because of COVID. Because want to prevent a scenario where large numbers of people are gathering, posing a threat to the community and also to the migrants themselves. So, those are the policies that we put in place, in large part because, again, the CDC continues to recommend title 42 be in place, given we are facing a global pandemic.”

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