Jen Psaki is a White House press secretary, and BBC reporter Kristen Welker tested her over migrant children and their situation.
Everything happened in a briefing’s question portion. Kristen asked Jen about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s criticism of reopened detention facilities for children and whether that represented a failure by the administration. The Department HHS runs this facility.
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As an opening sentence in her answer, Psaki said that we could not possibly know what “this” and “that” alludes to in Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet.
Of course, Welker clarified that it refers to the children in the detention facilities.
This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party. https://t.co/AEV7s7QQnB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 23, 2021
Psaki, then, answered:
“Well, that’s not what’s happening … what is happening now is there are children fleeing prosecution, fleeing threats in their own countries, traveling on their own, unaccompanied to the border,”
She continued explaining that the focus is on the approach from humanity’s view. The moves they made were made as quickly as possible, a maximum of three days. After this process, the kids go to facilities overseen by HHS.
Besides, they had to open another building because of the pandemic outbreak and the new protocols. They need to protect the children, and they have to keep a social distance.
Welker asked for Psaki’s opinion on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweets.
“Well, look, we will work, of course, with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez on a range of issues, and we look forward to doing that. What I’m conveying from here is the actual circumstances on the ground and the tough choice we have had to make. There are only a couple of options here,”
Also, there was a further explanation. They have only two choices. The first is to send the children on a life-threatening journey back to their countries. The second choice is to send them to families that haven’t been vetted.
In the past, there was a situation when children were “trafficked” when the family wasn’t vetted.
In conclusion, according to them, Psaki said that the children need to pass through HHS facilities. There they are secure because of the COVID-19 protocols. Also, they receive education and medical care.