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Fox News’ White House correspondent, Peter Doocy, once again got into a heated exchange with Biden Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over the issue of the ongoing illegal migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border last week.
Republicans and other critics have repeatedly cited President Joe Biden’s moves on day one of his term to reverse former President Donald Trump’s strict immigration and border enforcement policies, which have since led to historic levels of illegal crossings and the smuggling of deadly fentanyl that is killing nearly 100,000 Americans a year by overdose.
Doocy was getting ready to ask a question about the arrival of thousands of illegal migrants at Eagle Pass, Texas, last week, but Jean-Pierre countered with a question of her own, leading to the tense exchange, with her shouting before finally moving on to other reporters.
Here’s a brief transcript:
DOOCY: So, what do you call it here at the White House when 10,000 people illegally cross the border in a single day?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, what do you call it, Peter, when GOP puts forth a — wait, no —
DOOCY: Asking are you —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no, no, no, no, you can’t —
DOOCY: Karine —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m answering.
Okay, we’re going to move on.
DOOCY: You’re answering a question —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no, no —
DOOCY: — with a question.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, no, no — no, no, no. We’re moving on.
DOOCY: Karine, please —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: We’re moving. In the back. Go ahead.
This week, Jean-Pierre had difficulty answering NBC White House reporter Peter Alexander’s line of questions when he pressed her after the Department of Homeland Security said that new “barriers” were needed along the southwestern border — a “wall,” according to some — as President Biden himself said “walls don’t work.”
Biden had previously told reporters that despite his personal beliefs, he nevertheless “defended his administration’s decision to waive 26 federal laws in South Texas to allow for construction of roughly 20 miles of additional border wall, saying he had no choice but to use the Trump-era funding for the barrier to stop illegal migration from Mexico,” the Associated Press reported.
“So, who is right? The statement from the DHS secretary overnight or the president’s commentary this morning saying they don’t work?” Alexander asked.
“Well, we believe — so, first of all, he was asked, ‘Do you believe…’ — let me get the exact — ‘Do you believe…’ — by your colleague Selina here — ‘Do you believe the border wall works?’ He said, ‘No.’ Right? He answered that directly,” Jean-Pierre began.
“So, we believe there are more effective ways of dealing with this — dealing with the border security. And so, of course, we have repeatedly asked Congress to make sure that CBP have the resources they need to do their jobs. And we think there are other ways to do that, whether it’s smarter, more effective border security measures — and so — you know, like tech- — border — border technology. We believe that works when you modernize that,” she continued.
“And also, land ports — land ports of entry. We believe that’s what works to deal with border security,” the spokeswoman added.
“And so, we’ve been very clear. The President has very clear about this. He doesn’t believe — believe the border wall is effective, and that has not changed. That has not changed,” she said.
“We are complying by the law. DHS is complying by the law that — that — that — an appropriation that came from fiscal year 2019, under the last administration — Republican leadership — and that’s what you’re seeing now,” she added.
Later, she said: “Since May, we have returned — we have returned — or, sent away or sent back more than 300,000 migrants who came here undocumented. And so, that is — shows that — our commitment to the border and that shows a commitment in making sure that we tried to work in a system that is broken.”