The White House brushed off criticisms levied at a border press conference held this week by U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.
“We’re less worried about press conferences or political games that are being played by some,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing.
The comments come in response to questions about criticisms by Republican Senators that neither President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris has personally visited or toured facilities at the U.S. Mexico border.
This week, Scott led a press conference in Texas on border security. The Naples Republican at the event slammed “reckless open borders and amnesty policies,” standing with four other Republican Senators and officials from border states.
“There is a manmade crisis on our border, and it’s 100% caused by one person, Joe Biden,” he said.
Scott chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which intends to make immigration a major issue in the midterms as the GOP attempts to retake the Senate. Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming, Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Mike Lee of Utah all joined in the lament.
“I saw it firsthand when I traveled to the border with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in March. Everyone outside of D.C. knows what this is,” Scott said. “The Mayors, law enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agents on the front lines know it’s a crisis because they’re living it every day.”
When first asked about criticisms Biden has made no such trip, Psaki at first said she didn’t know who was making such an argument. Press noted the Scott press conference,
“The President’s focus, and the Vice President’s focus, is on solutions,” Psaki said. “What we’ve seen over the past several months is, we came in and there was little preparation for what was going to be a surge of migrants at the border. What we’ve done since then is massively reduced the number of children who are at Border Patrol facilities from over 5,000 to under 1,000. The number is probably ever lower than that now.”
The number of unaccompanied minors at the border reached an all-time high in March, with 18,663, according to Border Patrol.
Scott’s event touched on more issues than just that. He also questioned Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the surge in numbers at a Senate hearing Thursday, and said he was not satisfied with answers.
“Today, I asked for simple answers from DHS Secretary Mayorkas on how DHS and the Biden Administration are enforcing current immigration law and keeping drugs and potentially dangerous, illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes, out of our nation,” Scott said. “He dodged my questions and, following the lead of President Biden and Vice President Harris, is hiding from the facts. That’s unacceptable.”