Republican senators say Biden officials asked them to delete photos they took in the Donna, Texas, border facility.
“Nothing has changed,” President Joe Biden says of the situation at the border—but his staff are working overtime to make sure the public only see what they’re supposed to.
Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana told the Washington Examiner that a Biden official asked Republican senators to delete photos they’d taken inside the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) migrant holding facility in Donna, Texas, on Friday.
The photos have been widely shared on social media by Sen. Ted Cruz and others, and they depict migrant children of all ages (whose faces are blurred) sleeping and lounging in tightly-crowded “pods.” The Carrizo Springs, Texas, facility where the White House allowed a video camera to accompany Congressional Democrats on Wednesday features a different, more camera-friendly setup, and it isn’t over capacity.
These are the pictures the Biden administration doesn’t want the American people to see. This is why they won’t allow the press.
This is the CBP facility in Donna, Texas.
This is a humanitarian and a public health crisis. pic.twitter.com/UlibmvAeGN
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 26, 2021
In 2018, then-presidential hopeful Kamala Harris gave a speech outside a border facility in California, praising “a free and independent press” for “giving the American public a close-up look at what’s really happening as opposed to the rhetoric coming out of this administration.” In a press conference on Thursday, Biden said that he could commit to press transparency “as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we are doing right now.”
The Biden White House is in such a rush to surge child caregivers to the emergency facilities that they’ve waived FBI fingerprint background checks for new hires. During the 2019 influx of unaccompanied minors, a similar waiver at two facilities attracted wide criticism from government watchdogs and advocacy groups.
These expensive, emergency facilities—not subject to state licensing—operate at a cost of around $775.00 per child per day to the American taxpayer. Out of 18,000 migrant youth currently held U.S. government custody, more than 5,000 are in CBP custody, awaiting transfer to Health and Human Services (HHS).
Former President Donald Trump slammed Biden’s response to the border crisis in an interview with Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro—and said that he intends to visit the border himself in the near future.
“These people, they’re dying for leadership. There’s nothing. There’s no leadership,” Trump said. “You have to see the squalor, the children, and frankly, people that have come in to the country when you look at what’s happening, the dirt and the filth of those places. That’s why they’re not letting the press in.”