Feb 23, 2021
Jen Psaki Defends Joe Biden Reopening Border Detention Center: ‘This Is Not Kids Being Kept in Cages
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More than 200 migrant teenagers on Monday were sent to a reopened facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, according to CBS News, with plans to expand the number of detained children to 700 in facilities across the country.
Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris strongly condemned such facilities during the 2020 presidential campaign, accusing former President Donald Trump of putting children and “babies in cages.”
“Under Trump, there have been horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages, tear-gassing asylum seekers, ripping children from their mothers’ arms,” Biden wrote in an op-ed in the Miami Herald in 2019, accusing Trump of “actions that subvert American values and erode our ability to lead on the global stage.”
Biden promised during the campaign that he would close the facilities holding detained unaccompanied migrant children. Biden also falsely claimed that during the Obama-Biden administration “we didn’t lock people up in cages.” The administration had, in fact, built those cages. Breitbart News first revealed cramped facilities full of migrant children in 2014, during Obama and Biden’s second term.
Psaki blamed coronavirus social distancing requirements for the need to expand the facilities for unaccompanied children apprehended at the border.
“It’s a temporary reopening during COVID-19,” she said referring to the decision to reopen the facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas. “Our intention is very much to close it.”
She refused to accept the idea that the facilities were similar to that of the previous administration.
“This is not kids being kept in cages,” she said. “This is a facility that was opened that is going to follow the same standards as other HHS facilities.”
Psaki said the facilities were reopened because of coronavirus restrictions.
“That was never our intention of replicating the immigration policies of the past administration,” she said.
She did not mention the spike in border crossings by unaccompanied minors since Biden became president.
Customs and Border Protection apprehended 5,871 unaccompanied minors in January, up dramatically from a low of only 741 in April 2020 during the Trump administration.
An HHS official admitted to CBS News that they were preparing extra capacity in the facilities to handle the surge of children.
“We don’t know how many kids are going to be coming in the upcoming days, or weeks or months, and so we have to make sure that our contingency plans include preparing for even more bed space than we think we might need,” the HHS official said.
Biden restarted the Catch and Release Release border program the day of his inauguration. The Department of Homeland Security is now releasing border crossers into the United States without Chinese coronavirus tests.
News Source: breitbart.com
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Why Are So Many Migrants Rushing To The Southern Border?
- The Biden administration suspended the ‘remain in Mexico’ program and started allowing asylum-seekers into the U.S.
- Human smugglers are telling potential clients that the Biden administration will be more lenient towards people seeking asylum, so now is the time to go to the U.S. border.
- Mexico passed a law that families and unaccompanied children cannot be returned to the country if their government-operated facilities are at capacity.
Changes in Mexican asylum laws and modifications to U.S immigration policy combined with exploitation by smugglers are causing an increase in migrants at the southern U.S. border seeking entry, according to reports.
The Biden administration suspended the ‘remain in Mexico’ program allowing some asylum seekers to enter the U.S. and ended a policy preventing unaccompanied minors from coming into the U.S., The Washington Post reported. Mexico implemented laws banning migrant families from returning if facilities are full and smugglers in Guatemala are exploiting people saying the administration is taking a softer approach towards asylum seekers.
“People are incredibly hopeful that this is their chance to get across, but there also is a lot of anxiety and fear that somehow if they do the wrong thing and they’re not at the right place at the right time, they might miss out,” Global Response Management Spokesperson Andrea Leiner said, NBC News reported.
MATAMOROS, MEXICO – FEBRUARY 22: Nicaraguan immigrants wait on a U.S.-Mexico border bridge for entry into the United States on February 22, 2021 in Matamoros, Mexico. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Human smugglers in Guatemala are telling potential clients that “Biden has given the green light,” for them to travel to the U.S, a Central American official who was not authorized to speak on the record told the Post.
The Biden administration promised to end the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), often referred to as ‘remain in Mexico’, The New York Times reported. President Biden deferred new entries into the program though it was not officially ended and thousands of cases remain pending in courts.
At least 25 migrants seeking asylum were admitted into the U.S. and given notices to appear in court as part of the administration’s end to ‘remain in Mexico,’ NBC reported. Around 25 migrants who have pending MPP cases are expected to be allowed entry at San Diego, Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Family Service of San Diego Michael Hopkins said, NBC reported.
Migrants seeking asylum near El Paso and Brownsville are expected to be granted entry at the two Texas ports beginning this week, NBC reported. Around 25,000 migrants have pending MPP cases and hundreds of others are appealing court decisions.
Around 70,000 migrants have participated in the ‘remain in Mexico’ program since its inception in January 2019, NBC reported. Thousands whose cases were dismissed or who were denied entry are ineligible to return to the U.S., though they may be able to apply for relief provided by the government at a later time.
U.S. officials are reportedly asking migrants with pending MPP cases not to travel to the border and to instead register with a U.N. website to receive updates on their proceedings, NBC reported. (RELATED: Biden’s Child Detention Centers Are Now Bursting At The Seams)
Children and families can no longer be held in Mexican immigration detention facilities and instead must remain in specific government facilities, according to a Mexican law implemented in November 2020, the Post reported. The Mexican government said it would not accept any returning children or families once those facilities reached capacity.
The new policy has been applied unevenly on the Mexican border, families were returned and left on the streets of Nogales, Mexico, a town bordering Arizona, the Post reported. The Biden administration is reportedly working to increase the capacity of facilities for families in Mexico.
“Mexico is only accepting single adults now, not families or children,” a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak on the record told the Post. Parents and children are being caught and released into the interior of the U.S., primarily in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio sectors where illegal crossings are routinely high.
Family units claiming asylum are being released through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials because the agency is better equipped to test families for COVID-19 and track them as their claims go through courts, The Post reported.
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