White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted Friday that the Biden administration’s decision to fill gaps in the Trump-era wall on the southern border is not a continuation of the former president’s signature project.
Responding to a question from Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, Jean-Pierre defended the Department of Homeland Security’s decision Thursday to authorize the closing of heavily trafficked openings near the Morelos Dam, located roughly a mile from the California border.
When is building a wall not building a wall? When the Biden administration does it, of course. pic.twitter.com/hmywBYy16j
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) July 30, 2022
“We are not finishing the wall,” Jean-Pierre said five times during her response, rejecting the notion that Biden is going back on his 2020 campaign pledge to build “not another foot” of the barrier.
- Instead, echoing the Department of Homeland Security’s justification for the project, she said the administration is “trying to save lives” of border crossers who risk drowning in the Colorado River.
- “We are cleaning up the mess the prior administration left behind in their failed attempt to build a wall,” she claimed.
- But critics of the president — who halted wall construction in one of his first executive actions — weren’t buying it.
A recent surge in illegal entries, which conservatives blame on Biden’s rollback of Trump policies, have complicated Democrats’ soft-on-immigration positions.
- D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams are both seeking federal assistance to deal with a flood of asylum seekers bused in to their cities from Texas and Arizona.
- Arizona and Texas’ Republican governors have justified off-loading the migrants by saying they don’t have sufficient resources to handle them.
- Even the White House seems hesitant to hold the line — the administration has delayed the end of Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases were heard.