During a press briefing on Monday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, became agitated with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy when he asked her to explain her claim that illegal immigration had decreased by 90%. Jean-Pierre had stated, “Regarding illegal migration, you have seen it come down by more than 90% because of the measures taken by this president.” After her statement received perplexed responses, Doocy questioned her about it during the following day’s briefing.
During the subsequent press briefing, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre about her previous statement regarding the decrease of illegal migration by over 90%. Doocy cited data from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol that contradicts this claim, and Jean-Pierre attempted to interject as he continued speaking. She responded by saying, “I hear you, I’m about to answer. I’m about to answer.”
Doocy to WH press sec: "You said yesterday that when it comes to illegal migration, you've seen it come down by more than 90%. Where did that number come from?" pic.twitter.com/hXAhUz9n74— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) May 2, 2023
“So I was speaking to the parolee program. As you know the president put in a parolee program to deal with certain countries on ways we can limit illegal migration. And we have seen, the data has shown us that it has gone down by more than 90%. That it what I was speaking to,” she said before quickly moving on.
Jean-Pierre’s claim was received with surprise since the current situation at the border contradicts her statement. In March, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol documented 191,899 encounters with immigrants at the southern border, which is a significant increase from the 35,000 reported encounters in February. The trend of increasing migrant encounters has persisted, with a record 2.76 million encounters reported at the southern border for fiscal year 2022.
Furthermore, as the COVID-era Title 42 is scheduled to expire later this month, border towns are gearing up for unprecedented waves of migrants. The statute was implemented by former President Trump as a response to the pandemic and has allowed health officials to refuse entry to asylum seekers in order to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses.
With the expiration date set for May 11, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has reported a significant increase in encounters with migrants and anticipates the situation to deteriorate significantly. Border Patrol is currently registering approximately 7,000 migrant encounters each day, but this figure could double once Title 42 is terminated.
To prepare for the anticipated influx, President Biden has authorized the deployment of 1,500 troops along the southern border.