On Monday, Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich confronted the Biden administration's attempts to deflect criticism for their handling of the border crisis during a White House press briefing.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about Title 42, a policy that allows the government to quickly expel migrants due to the pandemic and was set to expire this week. Jean-Pierre claimed that the administration was powerless to extend Title 42 due to a court order declaring it illegal. However, Heinrich pointed out that the court order was a result of the Biden administration's own actions, and that Jean-Pierre was trying to shift the blame away from the White House.
"That is a court order that is telling us to lift Title 42," Jean-Pierre said again. "And we’re going to comply, because we follow the rule of law. That is —"
"But the administration sought to lift it," Heinrich interjected.
"But it is a court order. That is —" Jean-Pierre insisted.
"Started by you guys," Heinrich pointed out.
"It was a court order that has been provided to us, and so now we have to comply," she later said. "We have to comply by December 21."
"So you’re saying you don’t support lifting Title 42? Or —?" Heinrich responded, pointing out the inherent contradiction in Jean-Pierre's position.
"What I’m saying is that it is a court order that has been presented to us that we are going to comply with," the press secretary responded.
The exchange highlighted the contradictions in the Biden administration's stance on the border crisis. On the one hand, Jean-Pierre insisted that the administration was following the rule of law by complying with the court order to lift Title 42. On the other hand, the White House has faced criticism for not doing enough to address the overwhelming influx of migrants at the border, which has strained resources and led to overcrowding and humanitarian concerns.
The situation has been further complicated by a recent ruling from a lower court that would have lifted Title 42, only for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to issue a temporary stay on the decision. It's clear that the Biden administration is struggling to find a solution to the border crisis that both addresses the needs of migrants and follows the rule of law.
The back-and-forth between Heinrich and Jean-Pierre demonstrated the difficulty of navigating this delicate balance, as well as the White House's attempts to deflect criticism and shift responsibility away from themselves. The ultimate resolution to the crisis remains to be seen, but it is clear that the Biden administration will need to take a more proactive approach in order to effectively address the needs of migrants and the concerns of the American people.
KJP: We have no choice, a court order says we have to lift Title 42 in the middle of a border crisis!
REPORTER: "But the administration sought to lift it."
KJP: "But it's a court order."
REPORTER: "Started by you guys."
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) December 19, 2022