After President Joe Biden's administration released pictures of a nearly empty Border Patrol facility, a Texas Democrat is accusing the government of playing a "shell game," and moving migrant children to trick the public.
"All they're doing is moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying 'oh, they're out of Border Patrol custody' but they're next door, next door in" tents that belong to the Department of Health and Human Services, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, told Border Report on Wednesday.
Department of Homeland Security officials said that while some children are in the custody of HHS, they did not say where or how many, adding that the photos released "demonstrate the tremendous progress that DHS and its partners have made to safely and efficiently transfer these children out of CBP custody and into the care of HHS."
DHS earlier this week released several pictures of a Border Patrol facility in Donna, Texas, that previously appeared packed with people during March.
"The amount of time children spend in CBP custody is down 75%, from 131 hours at the end of March to under 30 hours now," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday, according to Fox News, adding, "Clearly we're not done; there is a lot of work ahead."
The network's correspondent, William La Jeunesse, said that although "it's true that the administration has dramatically reduced the amount of time that these unaccompanied minors are spending in border patrol processing, that does not mean there are fewer children entering illegally or that are in U.S. custody."
The reporter added, "How do they do it? HHS spent billions of dollars on tents, motels, military bases and convention centers."
La Jeunesse said that drone footage shows there are five tents belonging to HHS near the two tents that belong to a border patrol processing area.
"This snapshot will show you the revolving door," he said. "May 4, 451 unaccompanied children apprehended. The border transferred 376 to HHS, which then discharged 420 to families and foster care."
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