White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed that it should be “no surprise” to Americans that President Joe Biden’s administration is facilitating overnight flights sending migrants to Florida and New York from the border Tuesday.
Tuesday, reports of the early morning flights prompted reporters to press Psaki on the reasons for the flights and whether the migrants were released upon reaching their destination. Migrants, mostly Haitians, were seen at a Texas airport boarding planes to Florida, New York and Maryland. Migrants were also seen deplaning and boarding busses under the observation of law enforcement officers at various destinations.
“Why is the administration flying thousands of migrants from the border to Florida and New York in the middle of the night?” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked.
“Well I’m not sure it’s in the middle of the night, but let me tell you what’s happening here,” Psaki responded.
“2:13 a.m., 4:29 a.m.,” Doocy specified. “Very early in the morning–pre-dawn.”
“Early flights. Earlier than you might like to take a flight,” Psaki said. “It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they can be swiftly unified with a parent or a vetted sponsor. That’s something we take seriously. We have a moral obligation to do that and deliver on that.”
“As a part of the reunification process our Office of Refugee Resettlement facilitates travel for children in its custody to their families or sponsors across the country. In recent weeks unaccompanied children passed through the Westchester airport en-route to their final destination to be unified with their parents or vetted sponsor. It’s no surprise children can be seen traveling through states, not just New York.”
Psaki’s explanation conflicts with reports about adult migrants waiting to board planes, not only children waiting to be unified with parents or sponsors.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) used Psaki’s same explanation earlier Tuesday.
“Our Office of Refugee Resettlement facilitates travel for the children in its custody to their family or sponsors across the country,” Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson Jorge Silva said. “In recent weeks, unaccompanied children passed through the Westchester airport en route to their final destinatiosn to be unified with their parents or vetted sponsor.”