On Monday, photos of migrants in a crowded border facility in Donna, Texas, were released by the office of Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX), as the Biden administration restricts media access to the southwestern border.
In the pictures, the migrants can be seen in clear pens akin to cages and are sleeping on pads on the floor with aluminum blankers. There are also some pictures where dozens of them share a single pen.
Photos from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna, Texas, show the crowded conditions at the border as facilities not designed for long-term custody continue to fill up https://t.co/YKyyTBhVW7 pic.twitter.com/IHBsqwhLbJ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 22, 2021
Amid the massive influx of migrants to the southern Border during Biden’s first two months in office, media have complained about the lack of access to migrant facilities like the one located in Donna, Texas.
One award-winning photojournalist John Moore tweeted last Friday, “I respectfully ask US Customs and Border Protection to stop blocking media access to their border operations. I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama, and Trump, but now – ZERO access is granted to media. These long-lens images taken from the Mexican side.”
Moore added, “There’s no modern precedent for a full physical ban on media access to CBP border operations.”
In their defense, the White House stated that the reason they are limiting media access to border facilities is to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki also stated on Monday that the Biden administration aims to finalize the details on how the media can be given access to facilities at the border like the one in Donna, Texas.
Not long ago, photos like this would have provoked outrage from a certain side of the political aisle
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) March 22, 2021
In connection to the photos released by a Texas representative, Psaki responded to a reporter who asked her whether the conditions the migrant children are being kept in represent a crisis.
Psaki stood her ground and dismissed calling the situation a “crisis,” saying, “Children presenting at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations, is not a crisis.
The White House press secretary added, “We feel that it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance and make sure they are treated and put in conditions that are safe. I will say that these photos show what we’ve long been saying, which is that these border patrol facilities are not places made for children. They are not places that we want children to be staying for an extended period of time. Our alternative is to send children back on this treacherous journey. That is not, in our view, the right choice to make.”
Psaki continued and stated that the Biden administration’s goal is to ease the “pressure” on migrants facilities like the one located in Donna, Texas.
Either Dems and media faked the tears and “outrage” pre-Biden, or they meant it. If it’s the latter, where are they now?
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) March 22, 2021
The photos that were released on Monday received uproar from both Democratic and Republican supporters. They stated that Democrats are hypocritical in maintaining that there is no ongoing crisis on the southern border after sounding the alarm over the treatment of migrants under former President Donald Trump.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C) posted on Twitter, “Either Dems and media faked the tears and ‘outrage’ pre-Biden, or they meant it.” He added, “If it’s the latter, where are they now? Kids are in cages. And this surge is far worse than any under President Trump.”