Migrants held in overcrowded facility, photos released by congressman show
The Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar has brought more pain for the Joe Biden administration on its border policy by releasing pictures of an overcrowded immigration facility in Texas where he said more than 400 male minors were being held in a section meant for 250. The White House is under growing pressure over conditions at the southern border, where federal authorities are trying to cope with an increase in migrant crossings from Mexico, many by unaccompanied minors, while staying true to Biden’s promise to implement a more humane policy than that pursued by Donald Trump.
Cuellar said the images showed a facility in Donna, Texas, that contained eight plastic-divided “pods” used to hold migrants. He said he did not visit the facility himself. The pictures showed migrants covered in foil blankets and lying on plastic mattresses.
Under US policy, children are not supposed to be held in custody for more than three days. More than 2,000 have currently passed that limit. Controversy is also mounting over the Biden administration’s refusal to allow press access to such border facilities.
Cuellar gave the pictures to Axios and described “terrible conditions for the children”, who he said should be moved into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. Border patrol agents were “doing the best they can under the circumstances”, the congressman said, but were “not equipped to care for kids” and “need help from the administration”.
“We have to stop kids and families from making the dangerous trek across Mexico to come to the United States,” Cuellar said. “We have to work with Mexico and Central American countries to have them apply for asylum in their countries.”
On Sunday the homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, told TV networks the administration was working to speed up processing.
“I have said repeatedly from the very outset a border patrol station is no place for a child,” he told CNN. “That is why we are working around the clock to move these children.”
He blamed the chaos at the border on the Trump administration. To MSNBC, he said: “We are not expelling children, girls, five, seven, nine years old back into the desert of Mexico, back into the hands of traffickers.”
Former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday said the "unemployed" former President Trump has nothing better to do than stir up trouble following his departure from Washington. "Here's a guy who's unemployed, has nothing else to do but cause trouble. And clearly, it's obvious to me that he's not going away," Boehner said on "The View."
The Biden administration has struck an agreement with Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras to temporarily increase border security in an effort to stop migrants from reaching the US border. The agreement comes as the US saw a record number of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the border in March, and the largest number of Border Patrol encounters overall with migrants on the southern border – just under 170,000 – since March 2001.
Ted Cruz is a “reckless asshole” and Michele Bachmann a “lunatic.” Conservative pundits like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh are residents of “Looneyville.” And Donald Trump, pushing a “bullshit” lie that the election was stolen, incited the “bloody insurrection” on Jan. 6 “for nothing more than selfish reasons.”
Donald Trump devoted part of a speech to Republican donors on Saturday night to insulting the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell. According to multiple reports of the $400,000-a-ticket, closed-press event, the former president called the Kentucky senator “a dumb son of a bitch”. Trump also said Mike Pence, his vice-president, should have had the “courage” to object to the certification of electoral college results at the US Capitol on 6 January.