White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiPaid family leave is 'not a vacation,' Buttigieg says Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns The Memo: Conservatives change their tune on big government MORE on Friday defended the Biden administration's immigration agenda as Republicans, including former President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE, argue that President BidenJoe BidenManchin lays down demands for child tax credit: report Abrams targets Black churchgoers during campaign stops for McAuliffe in Virginia Pentagon, State Department square off on Afghanistan accountability MORE's rhetoric and policies have spurred a surge in migration at the southern border.
Psaki responded directly to Trump during a press briefing after the former president issued a lengthy statement decrying the Biden immigration agenda.
"We don’t take our advice or counsel from former President Trump on immigration policy, which was not only inhumane but ineffective over the last four years," Psaki said. "We’re going to chart our own path forward, and that includes treating children with humanity and respect."
Trump derided the Biden administration's immigration agenda, arguing that the reversal of numerous Trump era policies intended to restrict immigration had led to a crisis on the border.
"The spiraling tsunami at the border is overwhelming local communities, depleting budgets, crowding hospitals, and taking jobs from legal American workers," Trump said in a statement. "When I left office, we had achieved the most secure border in our country’s history. Under Biden, it will soon be worse, more dangerous, and more out of control than ever before. He has violated his oath of office to uphold our Constitution and enforce our laws."
The Biden administration is grappling with a rapid influx of migrants, with thousands of unaccompanied minors being apprehended in the president's first several weeks in office.
Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasJohns Hopkins to launch degree program in cybersecurity and policy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - New front in mandate wars; debt bill heads to Biden DHS to end workplace raids, shift focus to employers over undocumented workers MORE have disputed that the situation amounts to a crisis. But the administration is taking additional steps to try to get a handle on the rising number of migrants at the border, including opening additional facilities to house young migrants.
"President Biden has asked senior members of his team to travel to the border region in order to provide a full briefing to him on the government response to the influx of unaccompanied minors and an assessment of additional steps that can be taken to ensure the safety and care of these children,” White House assistant press secretary Vedant Patel said in a statement late Thursday.