A clash between the White House administration and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has occurred over minors being detained at the border in cages.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has confirmed President Biden’s decision to reopen the camps at the southern border and house unaccompanied minors there for a period until sponsor families can be found.
“This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay—no matter the administration or party,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Biden pledged during his presidential campaign when speaking to Latino lawmakers that he would not keep migrant children in detention centers if he were elected president. However, he was unclear how he would solve the problem.
“This facility in Texas, which has been reopened, has been revamped, there are teachers, there’s medical facilities,” Psaki said, continuing to reassure those opposed to the plan that children are not being separated from family members at the border.
A reporter from Fox News challenged Psaki at a White House press conference on Feb. 23, asking her about the difference between what was happening now to what former President Trump did.
“This is not kids being kept in cages. This is a facility that was opened that is going to follow the same standards as other HHS facilities. It is not a replication. Certainly not,” Psaki said.
She added, “That’s never our intention—of replicating immigration policies of the past administration.”
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd denied Psaki’s remarks on Monday, as reported by Breitbart.
“Today, Jen Psaki said the administration could not hold the children in other locations due to the Covid protocols including social distancing,” Judd said, “but what she didn’t tell the media was that the children in [Border Patrol’s] custody were being held in conditions that have nearly no way to social distance.”
“The hypocrisy from the left and the mainstream media indeed shows they care nothing for the children they used as pawns to attack President Trump,” Judd said. “They are being held in the same locations they accused the Trump administration of inhuman acts when they said he was holding ‘kids in cages.’”
Customs and Border Protection apprehended 5,871 unaccompanied minors in January, up around eight times more than a low of only 741 in April 2020 during the Trump administration.
Psaki said minors were being held in detention facilities for more than three days but gave assurances the administration was working on releasing them as soon as possible.
“I think the difficulty is what I outlined earlier. We have kids coming across the border,” she said. “It is heartbreaking. I think we all as human beings are heartbroken … we only have a couple of choices.”
The number of unaccompanied children along the southwest border is escalating, and the Biden administration is in a crisis. Mainstream media is mostly silent on the evolving situation.