Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy pushed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Thursday to explain why Texas and Arizona busing migrants to Washington, D.C., is wrong.
Earlier in the day, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser requested the Biden administration activate the National Guard in the district to address the “humanitarian crisis” caused by the inflow of migrants.
WRC-TV reporter Mark Segraves tweeted that Bowser wants the Washington, D.C., Guard to be “activated indefinitely to help migrant busses arriving in DC. Calling it a ‘humanitarian crisis’ that has reached a ‘tipping point’ with 4,000 migrants so far. Requesting DC Armory be used as processing center.”
BREAKING: DC @MayorBowser requests @DCNationalGuard activated indefinitely to help migrant busses arriving in DC. Calling it a “humanitarian crisis” that has reached a “tipping point” with 4,000 migrants so far. Requesting DC Armory be used as processing center. @nbcwashington
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) July 28, 2022
Doocy asked Jean-Pierre whether President Joe Biden would be agreeing to the request.
The press secretary referred Doocy to the Defense Department for an answer, but then took a shot at Republican governors.
“I said this last week about Republicans using migrants as a political tool, and that is shameful and that is just wrong. There is a process in place for managing migrants at the border. This is not it, what they’re doing currently,” Jean-Pierre said.
“That includes expelling migrants as required by court order under Title 42, transferring them to ICE custody or placing them in the care of local NGOs as they await further processing,” she added.
“So what Republicans are doing, the way that they’re meddling in the process, and using migrants as a political pawn is just wrong,” Jean-Pierre said.
Doocy followed up by asking, “So, the White House’s preference would be for small towns in Texas and Arizona to have to take care of these migrants rather than a large, metropolitan city like Washington, D.C.?”
Jean-Pierre: “Republicans are using migrants as a political tool.”
Doocy: “So the White House’s preference would be for small towns in Texas and Arizona to take care of these migrants and not DC.”
Jean-Pierre: “They are sending migrants to big cities as a political ploy.” pic.twitter.com/JGXkkzn79a
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 28, 2022
“That is not what I said,” Jean-Pierre said.
“That is what you said,” the Fox News reporter countered. “You said you think people are using migrants.”
Jean-Pierre responded that migrants are coming to the U.S. seeking asylum and in search of a better life and Republican governors should not use them for political purposes.
Asked if Biden would change course on his border policy, given the strain it is causing on cities like D.C. and the border communities, Jean-Pierre only restated the administration is committed to following its legal process for handling the influx.
Both Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey have been busing migrants who crossed into the U.S. to the District of Columbia to put the issue of the Biden administration’s lax immigration enforcement policies on the federal government’s doorstep.
In April, when Abbott launched his busing program, he said, “We are sending them to the United States Capitol where the Biden administration will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border.”
The following month, Ducey followed suit, the Washington Examiner reported.
“This is a problem caused by Washington. We’re bringing it to Washington, and we expect Washington to foot the bill. We’re going to send them a bill,” Ducey spokesman C.J. Karamargin told the Examiner at the time.
On Thursday, Abbott addressed Bowser’s request for National Guard assistance, saying in a statement, “Washington, D.C. finally understands what Texans have been dealing with every single day, as our communities are overrun and overwhelmed by thousands of illegal immigrants thanks to President Biden’s open border policies.”
“The true ongoing humanitarian crisis is along the southern border,” he added.
NEW: TX Gov. Greg Abbott’s office responds to D.C. mayor’s request for National Guard assistance w/ migrants.
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 28, 2022
Under the Biden administration’s border enforcement policies, the United States has experienced a record surge of migrants crossing illegally into the country.
For Fiscal Year 2022 there have been 1,746,119 encounters at the southwest border as of June 30, which has already surpassed the entire FY 2021 record number of 1,734,686.
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