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US 1st news media allowed inside overcrowded migrant facility under Biden

09:04  31 march  2021
09:04  31 march  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Biden administration allows access to border facility -- but not ones over capacity

  Biden administration allows access to border facility -- but not ones over capacity The Biden administration let journalists into a border facility housing young migrants, but continues to keep reporters out of other crowded detention-like facilities. A reporter and camera crew were permitted on Wednesday to enter a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The Biden administration for the first time on Tuesday allowed news media inside a Customs and Border Protection facility facing unprecedented overcrowding due to the recent surge of migrant children and families. A growing backlog inflamed by the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency responsible for housing children after they are apprehended by Border Patrol. Representatives from the press were allowed inside a temporary tent facility in Donna, Texas

The Biden administration for the first time on Tuesday allowed news media inside a Customs and Border Protection facility facing unprecedented overcrowding due to the recent surge of migrant children and families. A growing backlog inflamed by the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays for the Of those, nearly 8,000 were rapidly “expelled” under Title 42. U.S. officials have said immigration officials on the other side of the border, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, have refused to accept families with children under the age of 7. The post 1 st news media allowed inside overcrowded

The Biden administration for the first time on Tuesday allowed news media inside a Customs and Border Protection facility facing unprecedented overcrowding due to the recent surge of migrant children and families.

MORE: Scared and hungry: Young boys cross the border alone

A growing backlog inflamed by the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency responsible for housing children after they are apprehended by Border Patrol.

a group of people standing in a room: Migrants are processed at the intake area in the Department of Homeland Security holding facility, March 30, 2021 in Donna, Texas. © Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool/Getty Images Migrants are processed at the intake area in the Department of Homeland Security holding facility, March 30, 2021 in Donna, Texas.

Representatives from the press were allowed inside a temporary tent facility in Donna, Texas, which was meant to hold 250 migrants but had a population of more than 4,100 as of Tuesday. Of those, 3,400 were unaccompanied minors and more than 2,000 have waited beyond the legal limit of 72 hours, according to Customs and Border Protection.

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The Biden administration for the first time on Tuesday allowed news media inside a Customs and Border Protection facility facing unprecedented overcrowding . Yesterday at 11:40 PM abcnews.go.com. 0 61 0 0 0. More than 4,000 migrants , many children, held in cramped Texas tent facility .

Multiple news organizations, including NBC News , have requested access to or photos from inside overcrowded border processing facilities holding unaccompanied migrant children; they have been denied. The DHS press office released one photo late Tuesday of a mother and child undergoing a health screening inside a border facility , but no wider shots to show conditions or sleeping arrangements. At the height of the Trump administration’s child separation policy in June 2018, it allowed media to tour facilities where separated children were held. The new restrictions have been

a group of people sitting on a football field © Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool/Getty Images

The video shows children and families packed into tight living quarters, sleeping on gray camping mats with mylar blankets for warmth. In transparent, plastic pods there is hardly room to walk with young children crammed shoulder to shoulder.

Journalists also saw a fenced in recreation area where two groups of boys were playing soccer, agents in dark sunglasses watching over them.

The facility spans 184,000 square feet and requires a staff of more than 500 agents. It takes $16 million per month to run the facility.

"As I have said repeatedly, a Border Patrol facility is no place for a child," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Tuesday. "We have been working around the clock, in coordination with HHS, to quickly move unaccompanied children out of these crowded Border Patrol stations and into the care of HHS so they can be placed with family members or other sponsors."

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DONNA, Texas – The Biden administration for the first time Tuesday allowed journalists inside its main border detention facility for migrant children, revealing a severely overcrowded tent structure where more than 4,000 migrants , including children and families, were crammed into pods and the youngest kept in a large play pen with mats on the floor for sleeping. With thousands of children and families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks and packing facilities , President Joe Biden has been under pressure to bring more transparency to the process. U.S. Customs and Border

(CNN) The Biden administration is opening an overflow facility for unaccompanied migrant children apprehended at the US-Mexico border, the federal agency tasked with the children's care told CNN in a statement. The Health and Human Services Department will reopen a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, that can Under President Donald Trump, the US-Mexico border operated under hardline policies intended to keep migrants out of the United States, including a policy that required asylum seekers to stay in Mexico until their court dates in the US and a public health order allowing quick expulsion of

MORE: Migrants released from Rio Grande Valley without court dates

Earlier Tuesday morning, U.S. Border Patrol took a small group of journalists along dirt roads near the borderline, where they observed the arrest of migrants who had surrendered to authorities prior to their likely transfer to the Donna processing center.

All unaccompanied children who are apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley are brought to the Donna facility where they receive a health screening and wait to be transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. CBP also takes temperatures as they arrive and refers them to additional health checks if they have a fever.

Acting Executive Officer for Rio Grande Valley Operational Programs Division Oscar Escamilla showed reporters through the facility on Tuesday.

"Yes we are officers. Yes we enforce the immigration laws," Escamilla said. "But when you have kids involved, we have to take care of these kids. This is not the right place for these kids."

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The Biden administration for the first time Tuesday allowed journalists inside its main border detention facility for migrant children, revealing a severely overcrowded tent structure where more than 4,000 migrants , including children and families, were crammed into pods and the youngest kept in a large play pen with mats on the floor for sleeping. Migrants are processed at the intake area of the Donna Department of Homeland Security holding facility , the main detention center for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas, Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

Media 's first look inside border facilities under Biden admin. Media provide footage inside a migrant detention center in Donna, Texas. The influx of migrants crossing the nation's southern border with Mexico has jumped since Biden 's inauguration on Jan. 20. Republicans have repeatedly slammed the president on the issue, blaming him for what they constantly call a "crisis." This week the Biden administration began asking federal workers to help with "urgent efforts" to care for the surge in unaccompanied migrant children who are arriving at the southern border.

Escamilla said children are offered the opportunity to call family members at least once every 48 hours while they are in the facility.

The new administration took swift actions right from the start to reverse several immigration policies of the Trump era. While the new White House has come under fire for pulling back hard-line restrictions before it was fully prepared to handle the current surge of migrants, some remain in place.

Biden administration officials are quick to point out one major departure from Trump’s pandemic-era immigration restrictions: the treatment of unaccompanied migrant children.

a group of people sitting around a football ball: Young migrants wait to be tested for Covid-19 at the Department of Homeland Security holding facility, March 30, 2021, in Donna, Texas. © Dario Lopez-Mills - Pool/Getty Images Young migrants wait to be tested for Covid-19 at the Department of Homeland Security holding facility, March 30, 2021, in Donna, Texas.

When the Trump administration invoked a section of the public health code known as "Title 42" it gave immigration authorities the green light to start rapidly removing unaccompanied migrant children. Mostly in their teens, kids at the time were sent back to Mexico sometimes within a matter of hours. Customs and Border Protection said it was necessary to reduce overcrowding at its facilities.

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Legal advocates for immigrants have decried the use of Title 42 as illegal and unnecessarily cruel. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has taken on the responsibility of processing and caring for children who arrive at the border without a parent or guardian.

MORE: Homeland Security chief Mayorkas grilled by lawmakers over handling of migrant surge

The change, combined with an unprecedented increase in the number of kids found crossing the border, has strained government resources and sent the Biden administration scrambling to find more shelter space. Federal officials have enlisted convention centers in California and Texas, and even co-opted a NASA site for the mass housing effort.

The difference in the application of the Title 42 so-called health mandates is also seen with migrant families who cross the border. Thousands have been turned back or "expelled" under the Biden administration, but the majority in recent weeks have remained in the U.S. for traditional immigration processing.

Last February, nearly 20,000 migrant families were stopped at the border by U.S. immigration authorities. Of those, nearly 8,000 were rapidly "expelled" under Title 42. U.S. officials have said immigration officials on the other side of the border, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, have refused to accept families with children under the age of 7.

Texas investigating child abuse allegations at migrant facility, governor says .
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has urged the federal government to close a San Antonio facility holding scores of migrant children amid reports of abuse and neglect. Your browser does not support this video Abbott announced during a press conference Wednesday that he has ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers to investigate the allegations inside the federally-run unaccompanied minor facility set up at the Freeman Coliseum, a concert and sports venue in San Antonio.

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