Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy sparred with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the guidance for unvaccinated illegal immigrants versus other foreigners attempting to enter the U.S.
Doocy asked the press secretary during Monday’s briefing about the reason unvaccinated migrants are allowed to enter the country but Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic is prevented from entering the U.S. over his unvaccinated status. Jean-Pierre said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) make the decisions about protocols for foreign nationals.
“They’re two different things,” the press secretary said.
“So, how is it two different things? Somebody unvaccinated comes over on a plane, you say that’s not okay. Somebody walks into Texas or Arizona unvaccinated, they’re allowed to stay?” Doocy pressed. “Why?”
“But that’s not how it works,” the press secretary said.
“That’s what’s happening. I know that’s not what you guys want to happen, but that is what is happening,” he said.
“But it’s not like somebody walks over and, that’s not how—” Jean-Pierre began.
“That’s exactly what’s happening!” Doocy interjected. “Thousands of people are walking in a day. Some of them turn themselves over, some of them are caught, tens of thousands a week are not. That is what is happening.” (RELATED: Doocy Spars With Jean-Pierre On Illegal Immigration)
The press secretary touted the Biden administration’s efforts to install updated border technology and establish partnerships with Mexico and Guatemala to catch human traffickers, in which she said 3,000 arrests were made in the last three months. She also listed the funding put forth for the Department of Homeland Security, as well as appointing judges to the bench to quicken the asylum-seeking process.
Jean-Pierre then criticized the previous administration’s plan to construct a wall across the U.S.-Mexico border. She also said the Biden administration inherited the border crisis from their predecessor, though border crossings have doubled since President Joe Biden took office.
“It’s not that simple. It’s not like people are just walking across the border,” she said. “We have a plan in place. This is not switching the lights on, right? This is gonna take a process, we are fixing a broken system that was actually left by the last administration and as it relates to the tennis star, that is totally different, that is a different process, that is the U.S. Open that he is apart of and there are a CDC federal guidance that he needs to follow.”
“But why is there a CDC requirement for people who fly here, as opposed to people that cross the southern border?” Doocy asked.
“Look, we have talked about Title 42,” she began.
“This has nothing to do with Title 42,” Doocy replied.
“It is, Title 42 is the CDC imperative,” Jean-Pierre said.
“And you guys got rid of it because you said the pandemic is not a big deal anymore,” Doocy continued.
The press secretary said Title 42, a Trump-era COVID-19 protocol, is still implemented and applies to migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The policy permits the expulsion of migrants on the grounds of protecting against COVID-19, which allowed for the expulsion of over 1.8 million migrants as of April 2022.