Manchin Breaks From Biden Narrative, Calls Surge At Border A Crisis


OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion

Joe Biden has refused to call the apparent crisis at the Southern border, that everyone should be able to see, a crisis, but that has not stopped everyone from calling it what it is.

Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin broke from Biden is calling the migrant surge a crisis that needs to be fixed, CNN reported.

“Whatever message was sent — it was sure interpreted the wrong way,” he said. “It’s a crisis — oh it’s a crisis.”


But the Biden administration has not been as direct when talking about the flood of illegal immigrants coming into the United States at the Southern Border.

“Does FEMA’s arrival at the border mean that the administration feels what is happening down at the border is a disaster?” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday.

“I know that we always get into the fun of labels around here, but I would say our focus is on solutions.  And this is one of the steps that the President felt would help not become a final solution, but help expedite processing; help ensure that people who are coming across the border are — have access to health and medical care.  Clearly, the numbers are enormous.  This is a big challenge, and it certainly is a reflection of using every lever of the federal government to help address that,” Psaki said.

“But FEMA, though, specifically — their mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.  We’ve heard you say that it’s a problem, that it’s a challenge.  Is it now a disaster?” Doocy pressed.

“I appreciate the opportunity.  I do like your mask,” Paki said as she struggled to answer. “ But I will say that FEMA is there to help ensure that the people who are at the border, who are coming across the border, have access to — can — to HHS and ORR shelters; that we can swiftly place them with vetted families.  They’re playing a number of roles there to address what we feel is a significant problem and a significant challenge.  And I think we haven’t — we haven’t stepped — been hiding about that.”

“And then, just a quick, final one.  DHS said that the FEMA plan for 90 days would be to receive, shelter, and transfer unaccompanied children.  Does that mean that the federal government now is moving beyond the message from the last couple weeks, which was: ‘Now is not the time to come?’” he said.

“No, we are — we are — we are doing both, and it’s a complicated problem, no doubt about it.  We are sending the message clearly in the region, ‘Now is not the time to come.’ But also, we want to ensure that people are treated with humanity — who are children, who are unaccompanied children.  That’s who we are as a country, and so we are doing both,” she said.

But this is a crisis of Biden’s own making, as he and other Democrats talked about fixing immigration by taking a softer approach to it during the 2020 presidential campaign.

In clips from a new interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday Biden said his message for migrants is to not come now.

“Yes, I can say quite clearly: Don’t come over,” Bien said during the interview. “Don’t leave your town or city or community.”


“Was it a mistake not to anticipate this surge?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“First of all, there was a surge in the last two years,” Biden said. “In ’19 and ’20, there was a surge, as well.”

But Stephanopoulos acknowledged that “this one could be worse” to which Biden admitted m”it could be.”

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