U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar is accusing the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security of attempting to portray the immigration facility in Donna, Texas as emptying out, when in reality the unaccompanied minors sheltered there have been relocated to a nearby location.
Cuellar is a blue-dog Democrat who has been highly critical of the president’s policies concerning illegal immigration. He contends the photos of the facility are deliberately misleading.
“All they’re doing is, they’re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying, ‘Oh, they’re not in the Border Patrol (custody),’” Cuellar told Border Report.
According to Cuellar, the young illegal immigrants were moved to nearby tents that are overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services: “But they’re right next door,” he stated. “They’re just next door in HHS.” That particular facility recently housed more than 4,000 illegal immigrant youths.
(Video Credit: Border Report)
Border Report asked DHS officials about the status of the facility and the unaccompanied minors and it was confirmed that HHS had them in custody but they would not divulge their location. DHS said the photos “demonstrate the tremendous progress that DHS and its partners have made to safely and efficiently transfer these children out of CBP custody and into the care of HHS.”
The photos that the Biden administration released on Tuesday showed an almost empty facility with only a few beds occupied by children. The visual is in stark contrast to photos taken in March that showed young illegal immigrants packed practically on top of each other in the very same location.
The Border Patrol released new photos from its tents in Donna, Texas, showing a virtually empty space compared to March. CNN and Wash Post report 6,000 were encountered on some days in April. Adults were expelled, but where are the many families that are being taken into custody? https://t.co/hG8HtnrNlo pic.twitter.com/Pz0eWuSQRx
— Anna Giaritelli (@Anna_Giaritelli) May 5, 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki disingenuously told the media that the young immigrants were spending less time in the facilities than they had earlier in the year.
“The amount of time children spend in CBP custody is down 75 percent, from 131 hours at the end of March to under 30 hours now,” Psaki claimed.
Cuellar is currently the vice-chairman of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee. He has visited the Donna facility numerous times since Biden became president. The congressman is alleging that more tents are added every week to house more and more youths who are coming across the border. He recently noted that five tents were added with each having the capacity to hold approximately 1,500 children.
The facility has grown massively in the last few months, with white tents taking up every inch of land surrounded by black fencing that blocks anyone outside from looking in. Buses reportedly can be seen going in and out of the facility on a constant basis. Traffic is so bad that staff is allegedly tasked with directing it.
Cuellar is the one who blew the whistle on the Biden administration in April, revealing that it had fast-tracked more than 18,500 illegal immigrants for release without bothering to issue full “Notice To Appear” paperwork which states where and when they should appear for U.S. immigration court proceedings. The action is known as “catch and release.” There has been a reported increase of 3,200 migrants in the past two weeks that have had their processing fast-tracked by authorities.
On Sunday, Cuellar told Fox News, “To say that we have everything under control—you know I’m supportive of President Biden, I’m a supporter of his—but we’re not paying attention to the border’s communities.”
“And it’s not under control. I can tell you that,” Cuellar emphatically stated.
The Democratic congressman comes from the border town of Laredo, Texas, and has held office since 2005.
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