White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday brushed off a report that says few family units are being deported to Mexico after illegally crossing the US border — instead emphasizing that most adult migrants are sent back.
Psaki reframed the issue when asked about a report that said 13 percent of about 13,000 members of families were turned back to Mexico last week.
“The vast majority of adults are being sent back,” Psaki said at her daily press briefing.
In response to a followup question, Psaki said, “A majority of adults, which every adult is not a part of a family unit, as I’m sure you’re fully tracking. And tens of thousands of people are coming to our border. We know that. And so the majority of adults are being turned away.”
The most recently official monthly figures, from February, indicate Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 100,000 people along the US-Mexico border — a 28 percent increase from January.
In February, US Customs and Border Protection said it “completed 72,113 expulsions” under a Trump-era COVID-19 policy that allows for rapid deportations.
Family units and unaccompanied minors represent the most significant increases along the border, which Republicans and some migrants attribute to Biden’s campaign promises to accept asylum seekers and reform immigration laws.
The Biden administration has allowed all unaccompanied children who illegally cross the US-Mexico border to stay at least temporarily in the country, but says it expels all single adults, as well as families if Mexican authorities have room to house them.
Psaki said at a briefing last week that some migrant families are being allowed to remain in the US because “there has been some less participation in keeping some of these families in Mexico than in the past.”