Psaki Still Hasn’t Revealed How Many Migrants There Are In The US Despite Promising To Do So Yesterday
Jen Psaki said the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] has still not released figures on the number of migrants released into the US this year after a huge, mostly Haitian, caravan arrived in recent weeks.
The White House press secretary promised during her press conference on Wednesday that she would release the numbers later in the day, but no such numbers were shared.
When asked on Wednesday evening when they would be available, Psaki told DailyMail.com: “As soon as the form is available [sic] DHS.’
Up to 15,000 mostly Haitian migrants camped under the Del Rio International Bridge in Texas and as of Tuesday, according to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, that number has fallen to 10,000.
Several removal flights have returned planes full of these migrants to their home countries as DHS ramped up deportation efforts – but thousands more were released in the US
About 1.3 million migrants have been detained by customs and border guards this year alone, but the fate of these illegal border jumpers is still unclear.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told DailyMail.com she still doesn’t have DHS figures on how many Haitian migrants have been released into the US
During Psaki’s daily press conference on Wednesday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy confronted her about the undisclosed numbers after Mayorkas revealed during a Senate hearing on Tuesday that he did not know the numbers.
“So who else can we ask?” asked Doocy.
When the press secretary tried to send him back to DHS, Doocy replied, “He says he doesn’t know.”
“I’m sure he wanted the most up-to-date figures and we’ll venture to get them to you—I promise you that this afternoon,” Psaki swore.
In a follow-up question, Doocy asked if it’s because the government doesn’t know or if they don’t want to disclose numbers because “there are far more people being released into the US than being deported.”
“That’s certainly not the problem,” Psaki said.
It is not yet clear when those figures will actually be made public.
Psaki (left) told a Fox News reporter Peter Doocy (right) that he will get updated figures on the migrant crisis this afternoon after rousing her about immigration reform
Meanwhile, Mayorkas was in the Capitol on Wednesday for his second day of consecutive congressional hearings — this time before a House committee.
Florida Republican Representative Carlos Gimenez today asked Mayorkas how many of the migrants detained at the border this year were detained, returned or “scattered.”
“I’d be happy to provide specifics after this hearing, Congressman,” Mayorkas replied.
Gimenez accused Mayorkas of being unprepared for the hearing, to which the DHS chief snapped at his long work hours.
“I work 18 hours a day, okay? So when I got back from yesterday’s hearing, I basically focused on the mission. We will get that data, both to the senator who submitted it yesterday and to you, Congressman, today,” he said.
It follows from Tuesday’s Senate hearing, when Mayorkas was still unable to provide migrant data.
“I want some numbers here. Of the 1.3 million people we detained, how many people have been returned? How many people are being held? How many people are scattered to all points in America?’ Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson asked the secretary during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing.
DHS Secretary Mayorkas was grilled by lawmakers during consecutive congressional hearings Tuesday and Wednesday
“Senator, I’d be happy to provide you with that information—” Mayorkas said before interrupting.
“I want them now,” Johnson demanded. “Why don’t you have that information now?”
“Senator, I don’t have that data with me,” Mayorkas replied.
‘Why not? Why don’t you have that basic information?’ the senator asked.
“Senator, I want to be accurate,” Mayorkas said.
The secretary revealed on Tuesday that about 5,000 migrants have been removed from the encampment around the Del Rio International Bridge, as DHS launches an investigation into mounted officers using what appeared to be whips against the mostly Haitian migrants.
“How many migrants have entered the United States in Del Rio in the past week?” Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley asked Mayorkas.
‘So last week, I think the high was 13,000-15,000 – it’s now well below 10,000. We will continue to move individuals from Del Rio to other processing centers to facilitate their repatriation,” the DHS secretary replied.
“We have increased the number of repatriation flights to Haiti and other countries,” Mayorkas added when it was announced this week that DHS is aiming to operate multiple deportation flights per day.
Migrants queue up awaiting transport from a makeshift border camp along the International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on Sept. 22
A photo taken on Wednesday shows migrants being led out of a makeshift border camp after being processed by US officials. The White House has promised to deport most migrants back to Haiti under Title 42, but reports indicate this is not the case for some who are released
U.S. Border Patrol agents drive near a migrant camp in Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 22
Mayorkas also declined to say whether he believed he and the Biden administration bear any responsibility for the influx of Haitian migrants in recent weeks or the wider border crisis in general.
The DHS chief visited the border after mounting pressure to do so, as images of mostly Haitian migrants in a tent town under the Del Rio Bridge fueled allegations that the Biden administration was enabling a humanitarian crisis.
The administration used the Trump-era Title 42 policy as a shield, claiming that migrants would be returned to the Caribbean country, which is still reeling from a deadly earthquake and political instability following the president’s assassination.
Under Title 42, migrants can be repatriated to their home country without the option to apply for asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, officials told DailyMail.com that thousands of Haitian migrants are being released to the US on a “very, very large scale” rather than being flown out on deportation flights.
Two US officials with knowledge of the situation in Del Rio – where a spike of about 14,600 mostly Haitian migrants camped under a bridge over the weekend after crossing the US from Mexico – said thousands have been released to the US with notices to appear. within 60 days at an immigration court under the so-called ‘catch and release’ arrangement.
Others have been sent on buses and planes to other parts of the US to be treated by Border Patrol agents, they said.