Speaking to reporters at the White House Thursday afternoon, Press Secretary Jen Psaki briefly slipped away from the Biden administration's narrative that there is not a crisis at the border.
????: Jen Psaki just broke with the administration, and called it "the crisis on the border."— John Cooper (@thejcoop) March 18, 2021
Later corrected herself in another response! pic.twitter.com/I8m9ee0Pz5
When asked if the adminstration was changing their position on the situation, she reverted back to the approved talking point: it is a challenge, not a crisis.
Reporter: "You said 'crisis on the border...?'"— John Cooper (@thejcoop) March 18, 2021
Psaki: "Challenges on the border." pic.twitter.com/9M45VrbfsK
Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents have been told not to allow reporters into overwhelmed processing facilties and to deny requests for ride alongs as the crisis gets worse.
The Biden administration is restricting the information Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs can share with the media as a surge of migrants tests the agency's capacity at the southern border, according to four current and two former Customs and Border Protection officials.
The officials say the restrictions are seen as an unofficial "gag order" and are often referred to that way among colleagues. The officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media about the topic.
Border Patrol officials have been told to deny all media requests for "ride-alongs" with agents along the southern land border; local press officers are instructed to send all information queries, even from local media, to the press office in Washington for approval; and those responsible for cultivating data about the number of migrants in custody have been reminded not to share the information with anyone to prevent leaks, the officials said.
No end in sight as large groups continue entering in the #RGV.— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) March 18, 2021
In 48 hrs, agents arrested 369 illegal aliens mainly consisting of family members and UACs in 4 separate groups. This year, agents have encountered 19 groups of 100 or more people illegally entering the US. pic.twitter.com/GjPZ473XeK
RGV agents arrested 3 illegal aliens with serious criminal history. Their crimes included convictions for murder and sexual offenses. As agents deal with the increase of families and unaccompanied alien children, criminal aliens will attempt to conceal themselves among them. pic.twitter.com/AkjGzQ42MY— Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings (@USBPChiefRGV) March 16, 2021