President Joe Biden said the press will have “full access” to the migrant facilities near the southern border but couldn’t provide an answer for when that would happen.
At his first formal press conference as commander-in-chief Thursday afternoon, Biden was asked by Kristen Welker of NBC News when journalists will be let into the facilities. Reports of these facilities have described cramped conditions and poor accommodations for migrants—especially unaccompanied children—that have trekked to the U.S.-Mexico border during the massive surge in crossings since January.
“Given the conditions that were just laid out at the migrant facilities at the U.S. border, will you commit to allowing journalists to have access to the facilities that are overcrowded, moving forward?” Welker asked.
“I will commit when my plan—very shortly—is underway to let you have access to not just me, but to other facilities as well,” the president said.
MORE ON THE BORDER: Migrants tell Sara Carter about their harrowing journey to the border
“How soon will journalists be able to have access to the facilities?” Welker pressed him. “We’ve obviously been allowed to be inside one, but we haven’t seen the facilities in which children are packed together to really give the American people a chance to see that. Will you commit to transparency on this issue?”
“I will commit to transparency, and as soon as I am in a position to be able to implement what we are doing right now,” Biden replied, then going on to explain that one of the reasons he has yet to visit the facilities himself is because he doesn’t “want to become the issue” due to his large Secret Service team following him.
“You will have full access to everything once we get this thing moving,” he added.
This didn’t satisfy Welker, who had moderated the final debate between him and then-President Donald Trump and was generally praised for keeping the pair in relatively line.
“Just to be clear,” she pressed, “how soon will that be, Mr. President?”
“I don’t know, to be clear,” Biden replied.
MORE ON THE BORDER: ‘Not today’: Kamala Harris laughs when asked if she plans to visit the border
On Wednesday, journalists were given limited access to a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas operated by the Department of Health and Human Services, as The New York Post noted. However, the Biden administration has not allowed the press into more overcrowded Border Patrol camps.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Border Crisis by the numbers: in January agents seize 500lbs drugs and 70 criminals with outstanding warrants
The first month of 2023 at the southern border is already looking bleak; just take a look at the numbers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in El Paso, Texas have seized over 500 pounds of hard drugs in January alone.
Additionally, the agency apprehended 62 people they were able to identify as having outstanding arrest warrants. Among the criminals were sex offenders.
The devastating numbers are not surprising, given that in December, the El Paso mayor declared a sate of emergency “after record numbers of people were released onto city streets and sidewalks by the Biden administration” reports The Center Square.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott also “sent 400 National Guard troops to restore order and provide humanitarian assistance” adds the media outlet. Border Patrol data showed in December, 55,766 illegal foreign nationals were apprehended in the El Paso Sector.
There were also 32,632 known and recorded gotaways in December, meaning they were able to evade getting captured by law and immigration officials. law enforcement officers told The Center Square that despite the skyrocket high numbers, “these seizures and apprehensions represent a fraction of the amount of people and drugs being trafficked to the southern border between ports of entry.”
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