- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2021

The White House said Monday the photos of immigrants crowded into border patrol facilities provide a snapshot of the challenge facing the nation on the U.S.-Mexico border.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also pushed back against the situation being characterized as a “crisis.”

“These photos show what we have long been saying, which is these border patrol facilities are not places made for children,” Ms. Psaki told reporters at the daily briefing. “They are not places we want children to be staying for an extended period of time. Our alternative is to send children back on this treacherous journey. That is not in our view the right choice to make.”

The Biden administration is coming under increasing pressure to stem the surge of immigrants — in particular unaccompanied minors — who are entering the country across the southern border.

The pressure continued to build Monday after Axios published photos of the crowded conditions at the facilities. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas provided the images to add to the urgency over the need to address the problem.

The public is taking note.

SEE ALSO: Leaked photos show crowded conditions, no social distancing at border holding facility

A Rasmussen Reports survey released Monday found that 67% of likely voters say the nation faces a “crisis” at the border compared to 23% who say they would not describe it as such.

Ms. Psaki sought to downplay the “crisis” chatter.

“Children presenting themselves at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, terrible situations, is not a crisis,” Ms. Psaki said. “We feel it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance.”

Ms. Psaki said the “border is not open” and said the vast majority of immigrants stopped at the border are turned away.

She said the administration is focused on “solutions and implementing them as soon as possible.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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