Tags: Biden Administration | Immigration | children | detainees | border | gag order | dhs

13K Migrant Minors Now Detained; Border Agents Under Biden 'Gag Order'

migrant youth wait to board bus
In this March 14, 2021, file photo, migrant children and teenagers are processed after entering the site of a temporary holding facility south of Midland, Texas. (Eli Hartman/Odessa American via AP, File)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 March 2021 01:16 PM

Amid shocking reports of 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children now in custody, border patrol agents are being restricted by the Biden administration on what they can share with the media, reportedly feeling handcuffed by a "gag order."

There is a crush of unaccompanied migrant children flooding the border, and officials on the ground are now reporting they have been told to pipe down on the crisis, including denying media "ride-alongs," being forced to send even local media requests to a Washington, D.C., press office, and those with access to data are told to keep the information confidential to avoid leaks, sources told NBC News.

The clampdown on media scrutiny is a marked contrast to the Trump administration, which openly permitted access to highlight the issues with massive illegal immigration.

"Part of maintaining the public trust is to communicate regularly and often," a former border official told NBC News.

The Biden administration, on the other hand, does not want anyone to see the issues, including how many children are being held and the conditions with which they are held under, sources told NBC News.

"Lawyers tell us children are going hungry, some showering once in seven days, and in conditions so overcrowded that they had to take turns sleeping on the floor," according to a CBS News report, which also detailed border attempts to stop their video report.

Even the reported "gag order" does not have a paper trail to point back to the White House. The orders were delivered verbally, per the report.

"It was more restrictive under Obama than under Trump, when there was more autonomy for each region to speak to the media," a source said.

While the Trump administration permitted ride-alongs with border agents to give maximum coverage to a crisis former President Donald Trump did not feel the media truly gave enough attention to, the Biden administration is reverting back to Obama-era policies of clamping down on information provided to Americans.

"Across the federal government, certain employees are designated spokespeople for their respective agencies and public statements are vetted to ensure accuracy," a Department of Homeland Security spokesman told NBC News. "This standard and process has been followed at DHS since the department's inception and across bipartisan administrations.

"Customs and Border Protection continues to publicly provide the same monthly data on the same schedule as it has since 2014."

But, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been rebuking the Trump administration policies – popular among border officials because many empowered them as opposed to handcuff them – and calling the Biden administration's actions with unaccompanied minors "more humane," officials are denying gag orders and releasing video anyway, sources told NBC News.

Even border Democrats are outraged and striking back.

The office of Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, released a video of dozens of migrants, including young children, floating across the Rio Grande on a raft, refusing to say where the video was leaked from. Reportedly it came from a gagged border agent, sources told NBC News.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has refused to classify the migrant border flood as a "crisis," but even he was forced to admit in a statement Tuesday, according to NBC News, his department is "on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years."

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Politics
Amid shocking reports of 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children now in custody, border patrol agents are being restricted by the Biden administration on what they can share with the media, reportedly feeling handcuffed by a "gag order...
children, detainees, border, gag order, dhs, cbp
552
2021-16-17
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 01:16 PM
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