White House press secretary Jen Psaki is circling back to semantics in an attempt to deflect from the excesses of the Biden administration’s open-borders policies.
During a presser, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, perhaps the only reporter with credentials there who ever asks tough questions, asked Psaki “Why is the administration flying thousands of migrants from the border to Florida and New York in the middle of the night?”
Doocy was following up a scoop from the New York Post about how planeloads of underage illegal migrants, along with some men in their 20s, were being secretly flown on red-eye charter flights into suburban New York, specifically Westchester County Airport, as part of a process of resettlement in the U.S.
For Psaki, timing is apparently everything.
“Well, I’m not sure that’s in the middle of the night, but let me tell you what’s happening here,” she said.
“2:13 a.m., 4:29 a.m. — very early in the morning then. Pre-dawn,” Doocy noted.
“Well, here — here we are talking about early flights — earlier than you might like to take a flight,” Psaki noted.
DOOCY: "Why is the administration flying thousands of migrants from the border to Florida & New York in the middle of the night?"
PSAKI: "Well, I'm not sure that it's in the middle of the night…"
DOOCY: "2:30 AM, 4:29 AM…"
PSAKI: "We are talking about early flights…" pic.twitter.com/gE7elH5vAl
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) October 19, 2021
As a thought experiment, imagine the media reaction if Kayleigh McEnany, Psaki’s counterpart in the Trump administration, had provided this kind of rejoinder.
Psaki then lapsed into some talking points which closely tracked a prior statement from DHS.
“It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they swiftly — can be swiftly unified with a parent or a vetted sponsor. And that’s something we take seriously; we have a moral…obligation to come to do that and deliver on that. As a part of the unification process, our Office of Refugee Resettlement facilitates travel for children in its custody to their families or sponsors across the country,” she said.
“So, in recent weeks, unaccompanied children passed through the Westchester Airport, which I think is what you’re referring to, en route to their final destination to be unified with their parents or a vetted sponsor. It’s no surprise that kids can be seen traveling through states, not just New York. It’s something that we’re also working to unite children with their family members or vetted sponsors in other parts of the country as well,” she noted.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 19, 2021
Critics might argue that the Biden administration also has a legal responsibility to secure the border and prevent people from pouring into the country unless they have gone through the proper channels first.
The administration’s various vetting procedures have also come under dispute.
Over the summer alone, the Border Patrol reportedly detained about 38,000 unaccompanied minors trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico, at least some of whom were transported and then abandoned by human smugglers known as coyotes.
An analysis of online flight-tracking data suggested that about 2,000 illegal immigrants arrived at the airport outside White Plains on 21 flights since Aug. 8, according to the Post, with some of the flights coming in between midnight and 6:30 a.m. Similar charters flights have reportedly landed in Jacksonville, Fla.
The social media reaction to Psaki’s explanation was unsparing, with some Twitter commenters insisting that this is an example of how Psaki is really bad at her job and conservative influencer Stephen L. Miller describing it as an “all-timer” for Psaki.
The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti quipped that it was “almost as good as ‘your beef is really expensive because the president is doing a great job!’ but close.”
Here are some additional observations from the Twitterverse:
If they thought this was popular or smart policy they would not do this in the middle of the night lol
— Sam_Paco (@SamPaco2) October 19, 2021
Because the federal government is so concerned with saving money 🙄
— Will Hall (@dubdubeych) October 19, 2021
They probably thought they would not get caught or called out on it like this.
— Mark (Intense Conversationalist) (@Mark50111048) October 19, 2021
Great point. There would be photo ops like crazy if they thought it would play well with public sentiment.
— Jen (@Jen_Vaughan) October 19, 2021
— maryisabella (@maryisa87463040) October 20, 2021
Is “ vetted sponsor” slang for sex trafficker?
— PP (@pwhinn43) October 19, 2021
There’s precious little difference between Jen Psaki’s answers and those of a delinquent teenager with beer on his breath.
— J (@ARaised_Eyebrow) October 19, 2021
I bet most of them are going to vetted sponsors and not their parents. Also, what’s a vetted sponsor?
— Derrick Arthor (@DerrickArthor) October 19, 2021
If these unaccompanied minors are being flown to Fla and NY to “be reunited with parents” in US, why are parents in this country in the first place? Without their kids?
— Joe Teacher (@burnedoutteach5) October 19, 2021
I’m not sure her next career is going to be stand-up comedy.
— r a dockery (@radockery1) October 19, 2021
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