White House tells migrants that the border is not closed in Spanish message, later corrects to saying it is closed

by Jenny Mount · Mar 11th, 2021 11:46 am

Last Updated Mar 14th, 2021 at 12:06 am

White House National Security Council adviser Roberta Jacobson accidentally told immigrants that the border is open when she switched from speaking English to Spanish during a White House press briefing Wednesday.

Roberta initially said, "la frontera no esta cerrada" (the border IS NOT closed), but after a White House aide handed her a slip of paper, she later corrected her statement to say, "la frontera esta cerrada" (the border IS closed).

"Well, given she also said that the border is closed, we're hopeful that that is what will be picked up. And that has clearly and consistently been our message," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said when asked about the mistake.

Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that "we are not trying to close our borders" and that the priority is to "create an effective, moral, humane system."

Jacobson stayed away from immediate ways to address the crisis at the border and instead spoke about the importance of improving the living conditions in countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

"The president has committed to seeking $4 billion over four years to address the root causes of migration," said Jacobson. "Including corruption, violence, and economic devastation exacerbated by climate change."


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