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The White House on Tuesday defended its immigration policy after criticism issued by Andrea Flores, a former official who until recently was involved in managing the border with Mexico in the U.S. government. “Our policy as an administration has been entirely consistent with what the President committed to on the campaign,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at her daily press conference.
The spokeswoman was reacting to an interview published last weekend by The New Yorker magazine, in which Flores, who until late last year worked at the National Security Council (NSC) of the White House, harshly questioned Biden’s actions on immigration.
The immigration expert, born in the border area of New Mexico and with Mexican roots, criticized in particular the implementation of “Title 42,” which the Biden administration justifies by the pandemic and by which it deports most of the undocumented immigrants arriving at its southern border.
The former director of border management at the NSC also accused two of Biden’s top advisers —Ron Klain and Susan Rice— of having opposed relaxing restrictions on seeking asylum, one of the Democrats’ main campaign promises. “No, they do not want to hear about more people coming in,” Flores said of Klain, who is the White House chief of staff, and Rice, director of the administration’s domestic policy council.
Flores was in charge last year of the process to readmit undocumented migrants who had been expelled under the “Remain in Mexico” program, which requires asylum seekers to stay in the neighboring country while their cases are being resolved in the United States. However, a federal judge invalidated Biden’s attempt to end the program, officially known as MPP, and ordered him to resume it, something the White House did in December after reaching an agreement with the Mexican government.
Thus, disagreements continue between officials and Democratic supporters over unfulfilled campaign promises, while the other side also criticizes Biden for having provoked a serious immigration crisis on the southern border.