Thursday, June 13, 2024

Biden’s Border Crisis Swells to Historic Levels as Detention Centers Overflow w/ Sick Kids

'It doesn’t make any sense how we aren’t looking at this in a radical way...'

The Biden administration is now holding more than 14,000 illegal migrant children in detention centers as the situation at the southern border continues to deteriorate, according to immigration officials.

Around 4,500 children under the age of 18 are being held at temporary holding facilities, and 9,562 children are being kept in the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement’s program as of Wednesday, according to the Washington Examiner

“There’s no question that the current flows have created challenges for the Department of Homeland Security and HHS,” said an official, who requested to remain anonymous amid reports that the Biden administration recently sought to muzzle its immigration authorities from speaking out.

Last week, Border Patrol was only holding 3,200 migrant children in its detention facilities. But hundreds more have crossed the border as thousands of illegal immigrants make their way into the U.S. in anticipation of President Joe Biden’s lax immigration policies.

By the end of the year, border officials expect more than 117,000 undocumented children to have arrived in the U.S. That would be the highest number of undocumented children the U.S. has ever recorded.

Most of Border Patrol’s holding facilities are overflowing, according to reports, so border officials have had to set up emergency sites that serve as overflow areas.

One such site was set up in a converted camp for oil field workers in West Texas, but the camp has faced multiple health-related issues.

More than 10% of the children held at the temporary camp have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least one child has had to be hospitalized.

One anonymous official said the West Texas camp didn’t even have enough supplies to care for the children who were arriving.

As a result, HHS officials said no more migrant children would be transported to the West Texas facility. There were still 485 youths there as of Wednesday, 53 of whom tested positive for COVID-19.

Democrats blasted the Trump administration over reports of similar conditions when Border Patrol was trying to get control of the 2019 humanitarian crisis at the border. But now, Biden’s administration is refusing to even admit that the surge at the border is a crisis.

“I have chosen to not allow myself to get into my feelings about how there are still these detention centers being popped up by this administration because it makes me very, very angry,” said Amanda Elise Salas, a Democratic political operative in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley who worked for Biden’s presidential campaign.

Even though Biden’s policies have significantly exacerbated the crisis, Salas said she understands “that change comes in increments.”

She claimed Democrats, despite holding the majority in both chambers of Congress, don’t have enough congressional seats to make Biden’s immigration agenda an immediate reality.

But she added, “It doesn’t make any sense how we aren’t looking at this in a radical way.”

The Biden administration has also faced criticism for blocking the media’s access to the southern border.

Biden’s agencies have rebuffed media requests to visit the detention facilities where migrant children are being held, and instructed immigration agents not to speak to journalists. 

Instead of decrying this “unofficial gag order,” as one administration insider put it, Democrats have defended it.

Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said on Thursday that it would be inappropriate to allow journalists to enter detention facilities because of the coronavirus pandemic, although the administration was perfectly fine with exposing immigrant children in the overcrowded setting.

“When you ever have the numbers and the facilities appropriate for children—but because of COVID protocols, you have to have social distancing—I don’t necessarily think that it is appropriate for journalists to be inside centers,” she told CBS News on Thursday.

The detention centers “are not permanent places for children—that children are not placed there permanently,” she further insisted. “They are processed out of those facilities as quickly as possible and as quickly as the facilities will allow.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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