Biden Cabinet secretary freezes when asked why Biden hasn't closed the border

 June 21, 2024

Joe Biden's Treasury Secretary was caught off guard when asked why her boss hasn't shut down the southern border to stop the flow of fentanyl into the United States.

During an interview with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto, Janet Yellen claimed new economic sanctions targeting the Mexican drug trade would make business for the cartels "very difficult or impossible." But Yellen's bold claims quickly unraveled under scrutiny.

She acknowledged the government's enforcement tools are "imperfect" as Cavuto brought up cryptocurrency.

"It's an area where our enforcement tools are imperfect but they're certainly not non-existent," she said.

Janet Yellen caught off guard

As the conversation continued, Yellen became flustered when Cavuto asked why Biden hasn't tried shutting the border.

"Isn’t the better solution, and maybe it addresses what you’re doing here, Secretary, to just shut down the border – entirely?” Cavuto asked Yellen. “Just lock it down, that’s what Donald Trump wants to do. What do you say?”

"Well, um, you know, my concern today is with, um, fentanyl trafficking, drug trafficking, and I’d say…” Yellen said.

As Cavuto pressed, Yellen doubled down on Biden's "sophisticated" approach.

“Well, look, the most, the most impactful tool we have is, um, to put in place sophisticated drug detection equipment, and that’s what President Biden has done is, um, not to shut down the border entirely,” Yellen said.

Biden's cynical pivot

The new sanctions are part of a wider messaging shift, as Biden tries to convince Americans that he takes the southern border seriously.

For most of his presidency, Biden dismissed the border crisis as his policies led to record-high illegal immigration. But Biden is no longer able to ignore the issue as violent crimes involving foreign nationals grab headlines.

This month, Biden rolled out new asylum restrictions that still allow up to 2,500 crossings per day. Republicans have dismissed Biden's shift as a cynical ploy motivated by the approaching election.

Many are sure to see politics at work in Yellen's sanctions. When asked why she is only making this move now, Yellen said the government was unable to act sooner.

"We've been working jointly with our law enforcement colleagues and also productively with the government of Mexico to amass the information necessary to being these actions forward," she said.

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