Biden takes zero questions, smiles silently as press is kicked out amid post-Title 42 chaos at border

The Biden administration is facing intense pressure over its handling of the migrant surge at the border

President Biden remained mum on Friday as chaos continues unfolding at the southern border following the expiration of Title 42. 

Title 42, the Trump-era policy that was implemented during the COVID pandemic that deterred border crossings due to health concerns, lapsed overnight, prompting thousands of migrants to come to the US-Mexico border hoping to gain entry. 

Press were allowed in the Oval Office for Biden's bilateral meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez Friday, but White House staff pushed reporters out of the room as they shouted questions to the president. 

President Biden smiles

President Biden smiles as he takes zero questions from reporters during his bilateral meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday, May 12, 2023. (White House screenshot)

Biden sat silently for over a minute, offering a smirk and even a chuckle before the press were ushered from the room. 

The Biden administration is facing intense political heat for its handling of the U.S. southern border, even more so with Title 42 no longer in place. 

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed earlier in the day that a migrant Honduran teenager died while in U.S. custody at the border. 


Karine Jean-Pierre at briefing

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre kept the focus on Friday's press briefing on infrastructure rather than the ongoing border crisis. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called news of the death "deeply saddening," telling reporters at her press briefing she had not spoken to Biden about the death and that she did not know if he had been briefed on the matter.

A federal judge blocked the Biden administration from implementing a policy that allows for the release of migrants without court dates – just hours before Title 42 expired. 


placeholderThe White House called the ruling an act of "sabotage."

MEXICO: Migrant Crossings At Southern Border Increase As Title 42 Policy Expires. Migrants walk into the Rio Grande from the bank of the river as they cross to enter the United States on May 11, 2023 in Matamoros, Mexico.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Jean-Pierre pushed back on the ruling, saying that the claim that "CBP is allowing or encouraging mass release of migrants and is just categorically false, that not what's occurring." 

"That is not what's happening. And it is a harmful ruling and the Department of Justice is going to fight it," she said.

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