White House press secretary Jen Psaki: Migrant facility is ‘not the same’ as Trump’s

“We are not ripping children from the arms of their parents,” Jen Psaki said on "The View" in defense of the Biden administration's decision to reopen a migrant facility for unaccompanied children.
6:09 | 02/25/21

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Transcript for White House press secretary Jen Psaki: Migrant facility is ‘not the same’ as Trump’s
Hi, Jen. This week a migrant facility that operated under the trump administration for only a month in September of 2019 is being reactivated to hold up to 700 children ages 13 to 17 throughout the campaign. President Biden and vice president kamala Harris repeatedly spoke out against kids in cages. I feel like this is the same thing, and that you're still detaining kids at the border and it's not meaningfully different than what president trump was doing. Absolutely not, Meghan. We are not ripping children from the arms of their parents. That is horrible and something we saw in the last administration, but we're seeing kids are fleeing prosecution. They're fleeing really difficult circumstances in their home country and they're coming to the border and we have to figure out how to treat them humanely and keep them safe, and in a time of covid, we had to have educational services, so we could have legal services and medical and health services and have those kids there treated humanely until we can find proper homes, family placements for these kids. This is incredibly difficult. It's heart-wrenching and it's a really difficult decision and it's the best decision we could make to keep these kids safe until we can get them to the right places and the right homes. You know, there are mounting calls -- That's the same question that I think everyone has. I'm sorry. Can you say that one more time? I just wanted to know are you or are you not detaining children in a different facility? Well, Meghan, this is a facility that was reopened. It was revamped and it was redone to have these kids in a place where they could have access to educational services, health services so they could find proper homes. We can't send them directly to families that haven't been vetted. We've seen issues with that in the past. We can't have them all in the former HHS facility because of covid, and we need to make sure there are safety protocols so they're not in beds next to each other. There's criticism all the way around including from people within your own party like AOC, and a lot of people see this as hypocrisy, and it's potato, potato. It's like kids are being separated from their families. What's important, and what we all have the responsibility to do, is explain what this is, and what this is not. This is a facility and we had to open a new one to make sure we have the safe protocols in order to address the covid needs and the health and safety needs because we can't have as many kids in the former HHS facility. That's exactly what we did, but our objective is to get these kids into safe homes with their families as quickly as possible, and we are absolutely not doing what the former president did, and what frankly the current president and the current vice president objected to, which is ripping kids from the arms of their parents. That is not the policy of this administration, and not something we would do. Jen, I was reading this morning that many of the children have been reunited with their parents already, that this is an ongoing thing. Isn't that so? That the Biden administration has already taken that step to reunite children with their parents? How is it in anybody's mind the same as what went on before? It's outrageous. It's absolutely not the same, and that's our objective. You know, we want these kids to be safe. We want them to be treated humanely. We can't send them back on the journey they just went on. That is not the right choice, but we need to make sure that we are finding their families. That's hard too. There's not the data and the history thanks to the last administration. So this is incredibly difficult, joy. We want these kids to be with their families, to be reunited. We want they can to be with family members. It's going to take some time, and we also want them to be safe during a time where there's a global pandemic, and that required the opening and revamping of this facility. You know, there are mounting calls to remove postmaster general Louis dejoy for allegedly sabotaging his own agency and trying to slow down postal service deliveries of mail-in ballots before the 2020 election, which he does deny, but he told congressional oversight committee Democrats to get used to him since he isn't a political appointee, basically saying he's not going anywhere. President Biden nominated three additional members to a governing board that could potentially vote dejoy out. Is that how he could E replaced? Because right now, the board is nondiverse, and we all know that the postal service is -- has at least over 30% African-American employees. That's exactly right, and first of all, the men and women of the postal service are doing an amazing job delivering, rain, snow, sleet, everything under the sun, and this is a circumstance where as you just outlined it, I learned more about the postal service than I ever thought I would know in the last couple of weeks, but it requires the board of governors, a majority of them to overturn the leadership, and it's clear that the leadership can do better, and that's our hope, and it's really going to be up to them to make that decision, and we just announced the nomination of a couple of new board members just yesterday, and we're eager to have them in place. President Biden will travel to Texas to survey the storm damage from earlier this month. We're seeing a real humanitarian crisis in the state with a lot of Texans needing food, water and shelter. How does the president plan to Well, first, he's going to be spending the day with the governor of Texas because this is not a partisan issue. This is not just impacting Democrats or Republicans. It's impacting all of the people in the state. There obviously was a period of time where we needed to make sure that people were safe. Now we're at the recovery stage where we need to make sure people have access to clean water, access to places to live - and to stay, and so the president wants to survey the damage so he can tap into all the resources in the federal government. We've already declared an emergency in over 100 counties, and our FEMA administrator, our acting administrator is continuing to review, but the president wants to see for himself, and he wants to show his support and he wants to get briefed by the governor, and he's going to visit a vaccination site too, to see how that work is going. That's why he's traveling and I'm sure he'll have a lot of homework coming out of the trip.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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