Biden administration is experiencing increased scrutiny from the media due to their lack of transparency around the child migrant facilities on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The administration is currently struggling to gain control over the border crisis as thousands of migrants surge on the southern border.
Yep, they did that. “Team Biden disabled chat on Zoom after reporters question lack of transparency” https://t.co/l3uXWa3o8Q
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) December 31, 2020
On Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, together with a bipartisan delegation of senators,s visited El Pas,o Texas, to evaluate the surge of migrants on the southern border. However, they barred access to the media allegedly because of “privacy and COVID-19 precautions.”
Earlier this week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the Biden administration remains “committed to transparency” and giving them accurate information on the “number of kids crossing the border.” However, reporters were not satisfied with Psaki’s response.
One reporter asked, “Why are we still not seeing any images inside these facilities?” noting Psaki was first asked about media access to the facilities three weeks earlier.
Psaki stonewalls on press access to border facilities.
One reporter noted that it’s been three weeks since Psaki was first asked about access for journalists inside facilities: "Why are we still not seeing any images inside these facilities?"
— DNR Media (@DNR_Media) March 18, 2021
Another reporter asked the White House press secretary about an NBC News report that cited two agents of Customs and Border Protection who showed disappointment with Biden Homeland Security officials putting them under what they believed was a “gag order” to prevent them from speaking to the media.
Psaki merely answered, prompting her to respond, “I certainly wouldn’t characterize it that way.”
Meanwhile, Human rights advocates also expressed their frustration with the lack of transparency coming from the Biden administration on the situation surrounding the southern border, stating that it is “troubling” that they are not allowing Human Rights advocates to look and check the conditions of over 13,000 migrant children who have been detained at the border.
It's way worse than we thought!https://t.co/9VMqNjxbGJ
— David J Harris Jr (@DavidJHarrisJr) March 19, 2021
Yasmine Taeb, an advocate for refugees, told The Hill, “These border facilities are absolutely no place for children, and it’s troubling that more access is not provided to press and advocates seeking information about the conditions of children in overcrowded facilities.”
An associate director at Human Rights Watch, Clara Long, was also troubled with the situation stating that “Transparency should absolutely be part of their short-, medium- and long-term aims” of the Biden administration on immigration issues.
Mark Meadows, Former White House Chief of Staff, also slammed the Biden administration on Friday for lack of transparency surrounding the border crisis. He also compared the Biden administration with that of Trump, stating that the former president held regular briefings about border security.
Thousands of unaccompanied migrant children have been stranded in overcrowded @CBP holding facilities for days.
Some of the children have reported showering just once in as many as seven days and taking turns to sleep on the floor. https://t.co/hvBBZ9PgrG
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 18, 2021
Meadows said during an interview on Fox News, “During the Trump administration, not only were cameras allowed in, but we had regular briefings on this, and it’s primarily because of the way the Trump administration handled it and wanted to deal with [immigration]. … They actually had a policy that worked.”
The former White House Chief of Staff added, “Don’t you find it ironic that they allow cameras in for a meeting between the United States and China in Alaska, and yet they won’t allow cameras in on our southern border? Why is that?”
Meanwhile, on Friday, a business owner from Texas also slammed Biden administration and local officials, telling America Reports that Biden administration’s handling of the crisis at the border has featured “everything but transparency.”
“Our city council members, the city of Carrizo Springs, is not informing us as to why we’re having busloads of people [go] through the town, why our city water is being filled up, down the street from my house, with tanker trucks that are being hauled over there [to the migrants] with no explanation,” gym owner Rebekah Pullara said.
— pernecia tate (@PerneciaT) March 20, 2021
“It just seems with all this talk about transparency, it’s everything but transparency.”
In addition to this, Pullara also added that residents of Texas have also been noticing an increase in “illegal activity” as well “numerous traffic accidents.”
She said, “Our sheriff’s department is doing a really good job of keeping us updated where our city officials have kind of dropped the ball with letting us know why we’re seeing this.” She continued, “It’s just crickets, dead silent.”
This year, there were 12 assaults reported this year by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Del Rio Sector, compared to 21 assaults that occurred throughout the entire 2020.
Pullara asked, “These people are coming into this community, and how are we being reassured that we are being kept safe? We’re absolutely not.”