Without realizing it, White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield on Sunday admitted the crisis at the border is even worse than we previously imagined.
ABC News' Jon Karl pointed out that the overwhelming number of illegal aliens, a vast majority of them unaccompanied minors, are not part of the normal spring surge that typically takes place this time of year.
"We're having record numbers already and the surge that you're about is only just beginning. This is not, I mean in terms of unaccompanied minors, this is not the same as its been," Karl said. "This is worse, is it not?"
Bedingfield shrugged nonchalantly. "Well, no, if you look at the numbers, it's not," she replied.
"I'm saying these are already record numbers of unaccompanied minors," the ABC host explained. "A thousand in a single day, already record numbers. It's not the same."
Bedingfield reiterated that the numbers of unaccompanied minors flocking across the border are "the same" as previous surges.
"The important thing here is not a question of whether it's the same or not. The important thing here is the president has said it's unacceptable to him and he's working to address it," she said.
Bedingfield said the White House is focused on "finding temporary housing" for the unaccompanied minors, as well as "speeding up the process" so they move from holding facilities to so-called "temporary housing" more quickly.
"I think it's also important to be clear that our policy hasn't changed, that the vast majority of people who arrive at our border we're turning away under Title 42, the health code that requires us, or allows us, to turn people away in this period of COVID," she explained. "So people should understand that the vast majority of people who show up at our border, we're turning away."
When it comes to unaccompanied minors, Border Patrol is moving them "as quickly as possible" to "facilities that are acceptable, that are, in and of themselves, short-term solutions," Bedingfield said. She also emphasized that Biden is focused on "rebuild[ing] diplomacy in the Northern Triangle" so people aren't motivated to head to the United States.
As of now, there are 5,495 unaccompanied minors in CBP custody, another 12,551 unaccompanied minors in HHS custody, meaning there are 18,045 unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody. Last week, Border Patrol had a record 1,000 unaccompanied minors captured in one day.
If the people are being turned away at the border, as Bedingfield suggested, that means the illegal immigration crisis is far worse than what we have now. We have record numbers of unaccompanied minors in Border Patrol and HHS facilities – which are absolutely grotesque and inhumane – but those are only the illegal aliens that have been captured. That's not taking into account those that make it past Border Patrol agents and into the interior of the United States or those that are allegedly turned away at ports of entry.
When asked about the Biden administration's handling of the situation at the border, WH Communications Director Kate Bedingfield tells @jonkarl "our policy hasn't changed. The vast majority of people who arrive at our border, we're turning away." https://t.co/kqETrDxc3S pic.twitter.com/wGsVKFx4IM— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) March 28, 2021