OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Snapped when talking about a decision by a federal judge to block the administration of President Joe Biden to “parole” migrants entering the United States at the Southern border with Mexico.
“We need Congress beyond the ruling, beyond what we’re seeing from the sabotage, as I said, pure and simple, this is sabotage. We want Congress to act. We want Congress to take action and we just haven’t seen that. Again, the president is going to use every tool that he has as he has been for the last two years to get this done, but we need to see Congress act,” the press secretary said.
“We’ve expanded legal pathways, we’re surging resources to the border, all of these things are incredibly important. And let’s not forget, we also have the bipartisan infrastructure law that helped harden our ports of entry. So this is what we’ve been doing for the last two years. And so, what we’re seeing from Republican officials is completely shameful, because it is a political play,” she said.
“I won’t go into specific persons, I can say that migrants who do not have a lawful basis to remain will be quickly removed, just like 1.4 million migrants who were expelled last year alone. Even before Title 42 lifted, the attorney general of Florida filed suit to sabotage our effort to humanely and effectively manage the border. That’s what we’ve been seeing from Republican officials over and over again for the past several months. Instead of trying to deal with an issue, or talking to the federal government how to deal with an issue, maybe in their state or city, they don’t do that, they actually sabotage what we’re trying to do,” she said.
Siding with Florida and the administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell ordered the federal government to stand down from its proposed move to “parole” migrants crossing the southern border through Texas. The Biden administration has been preparing for a substantial influx of arrivals ahead of the Covid-era Title 42 rules expiring at midnight and now is locked in a legal saga.
Wetherell, in an order that came down around 9:30 p.m., determined that he “fails to see a material difference” between the Biden administration’s new parole policy and the one the judge determined was unconstitutional in March.
The Thursday ruling builds on a previous lawsuit filed by Florida against the Biden administration that asserted authorities were ignoring a federal law requiring migrants entering the country illegally to be detained. That lawsuit criticized a parole and “alternatives to detention” policy created in November 2021 and since modified.
“… In both instances, aliens are being released into the country on an expedited basis without being placed in removal proceedings and with little to no vetting and no monitoring,” the judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, said.
Attorneys for the administration argued that the judge should deny Florida’s request because they are “necessary to address an imminent and dramatic increase [of arrivals at the southwest border.”
“The Court should deny this request to limit the Executive’s authority to carry out a core Executive function, managing the border, particularly on an emergency basis without the benefit of full briefing on the eve of an expected dramatic increase in arrivals at the border,” the attorneys said.
President Joe Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services announced on Friday that a migrant child died in U.S. custody.
.@JacquiHeinrich: "On ruling in Florida last night against these releases…What's the back-up plan now?"
KJP: "So, let me just say on the ruling…Look, the way we see that–it's sabotage, pure and simple…The claims…CBP is allowing…mass release…is…categorically false" pic.twitter.com/O2gBKOuXMa
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 12, 2023
“The department released a statement on Friday regarding the death of the child but did not reveal where the child died,” Fox News reported.
“The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our heart goes out to the family, with whom we are in touch,” the HHS said. “As is standard practice for any situation involving the death of an unaccompanied child or a serious health outcome, HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Division of Health for Unaccompanied Children (DHUC) is reviewing all clinical details of this case, including all inpatient health care records. A medical examiner investigation is underway.”
“Due to privacy and safety reasons, ORR cannot share further information on individual cases of children who have been in our care,” the department said.
It added, “While in ORR care, children have access to health care, legal services, translation services, and mental and behavioral health counselors and are able to connect with family through a phone call in a private area at a minimum of twice a week.”