White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, on Monday, March 15, blamed former President Donald Trump when asked about the appalling treatment the Biden administration forced on children at the border. 

A lawyer representing unaccompanied youth in U.S. government custody said “there was a staggering amount of very young children” held by Biden administration’s facilities. Some children said they had to take turns sleeping on the floor and were only allowed to shower once. Others allegedly told lawyers “about how they never saw the sun.” 

Reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked Psaki about the issue on Monday, “The children described sleeping on the floor, being hungry, not seeing the sun for days. How is that acceptable for the Biden administration to keep children in those sorts of conditions, given the fact that you said you were an administration that was going to be more humane than the previous one?”

“These CBP facilities are not made for kids. So one of the reasons or a driving reason why the president has pushed to take all of the actions that I outlined earlier … is because we want to expedite getting these kids out of these CBP facilities as quickly as possible” responded Psaki.

Psaki blamed the Trump administration’s immigration policy, which she deemed a “dismantled and unprepared system.”

“It’s going to take some time, but we are very clear-eyed about what the problems are and very focused on putting forward solutions,” she said. 

When pressed further on why the Biden administration couldn’t stop the appalling treatment, Psaki went on to say that there are not many options laid out for the Biden administration to tackle the challenge.  

More than 100,000 were apprehended at the U.S.–Mexico border in February. According to CBS News, nearly 9,500 unaccompanied minors were taken into U.S. border custody last month, a jump of over 3,700 from January. 

As of earlier this week, more than 3,200 unaccompanied children were stuck in Border Patrol facilities. Of them, nearly 1,400 have been held for an average of 107 hours, the legal limit border officials have to turn over unaccompanied minors to the refugee office is 72 hours. 

However, the Biden administration continues to deny a crisis at the U.S. southern border publicly. 

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