John Barrasso says Joe Biden admin told him to delete pics of kids 'crammed like sardines' in migrant facility
Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso has launched a serious attack on the Joe Biden administration over its immigration policy saying it asked him to erase pictures taken inside a migrant facility accommodating unaccompanied children like crammed sardines.
Barrasso, who spoke on Fox News’s ‘Sunday Morning Futures’ on Sunday, April 4, said: “We were told to delete the pictures.” He also added that none of the 18 senators who visited the border last weekend under Texas lawmaker Ted Cruz complied with the order. “No one did. You’ve seen the video coming out of all of these kids crammed together under the foil blankets, huddling together,” the 68-year-old senator, who is serving since 2007, said.
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“They are crammed in like sardines. And this is what the Biden administration is trying to hide from the American public,” the GOP lawmaker told host Maria Bartiromo. Barrasso went on to add that “this is both a humanitarian crisis and a national security crisis”. “You may have seen the numbers today are the highest in history of unaccompanied minors currently in captivity,” he added.
March saw a big surge in number of unaccompanied kids
Reports revealed that nearly 19,000 unaccompanied kids entered American custody along the Mexico border in March which is an all-time monthly high. It has forced the new administration in Washington to keep the migrant youngsters in convention centers, camps for oil workers and a military base, CBS News cited preliminary government data to report. In California, even local foster parents were requested to keep more children with them, which led to a major controversy and fueled speculation of child trafficking. The high number of migrants has eclipsed the previous high points of migration flows under the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The previous all-time monthly high of migrants’ inflow came in May 2019 when almost 12,000 unaccompanied kids arrived at the southern border.
Cruz and other members of the delegation, who visited the Texas-Mexico border on March 26, also brought similar allegations against the Biden administration. They said the officials asked them to delete photos saying they would violate the children’s privacy. Pictures have leaked showing the poor conditions inside the detention centers even as the Biden administration was accused of blocking access to the detention facilities of the US Border Patrol housing the minors detained by the immigration officials. The pictures were released with the faces of the migrants being blurred.
The Biden administration has tried to downplay the situation and denied that its policies have spiked the illegal border crossings but the GOP critics said Biden’s measures to reverse those of his predecessor Trump have made things worse.
California army base to accommodate migrant minors?
Officials said the federal government may put the unaccompanied migrant children on Camp Roberts, a California Army National Guard base in central California and the Pentagon approved its use to temporarily accommodate children travelling alone, the Associated Press cited a source in the defense establishment as saying on April 2. The health and human services department on April 3 said the camp was “under active consideration” and the final decision was yet to be taken. “When HHS decides to activate an Emergency Influx Site for unaccompanied migrant children we will notify state and local authorities as well as members of Congress,” a statement from the department said.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby confirmed last week that the department had requested the base’s use but the California National Guard did not immediately respond to a request from AP as on April 3.
Barrasso is having a busy time playing the role of the opposition to the Biden administration. Earlier in March, he slammed the Democratic president for pushing the coronavirus stimulus package worth $1.9 trillion through the Congress despite pledging to work with the GOP and called the bill a “liberal wish list”.