Has the Biden administration begun getting a handle on the border crisis? Two days ago, they tried making that case in a media presentation titled “DHS Action on the Southwest Border Yields Results,” containing images of nearly empty detention facilities. The White House argued that these showed progress in containing a record-breaking eruption of border traffic, tied in large part to Joe Biden’s rhetoric and his abandonment of a deal with Mexico to house asylum seekers.
Critics claimed that the images were cooked, which normally might seem like nothing more than political attacks. However, the critic in this case is Henry Cuellar — House Democrat Henry Cuellar — who accused Biden and his team of playing a “shell game” with the children for propaganda purposes. That got the attention of Lester Holt and NBC News:
And Fox News too, of course:
While the photos appear to highlight a drastic improvement, Texas Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar said the images only tell part of the story. According to Cuellar, the administration is engaged in a “shell game,” and is deceiving the public by moving migrant children from one tent to the other.
“All they’re doing is moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying oh, they’re out of Border Patrol custody but they’re next door, next door in HHS,” Cuellar said.
Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse said that while “it’s true that the administration has dramatically reduced the amount of time that these unaccompanied minors are spending in border patrol processing, that does not mean there are fewer children entering illegally or that are in U.S. Custody.”
Kudos to Holt for noticing and reporting on this, reporting that shouldn’t be noteworthy but sadly is. Oddly, most other media outlets aren’t terribly interested in this criticism from a prominent member of Biden’s own party. NBC News and Fox seem to be the only major outlets covering it at all.
As NBC points out, Cuellar’s correct on the numbers. While the pictures suggest that the crisis has passed, the truth is that the children are just getting passed around the system, and are still showing up at the border in record numbers. While Biden talks about improving the economies and political institutions of Central America as a response, those are long-range (and long-attempted) solutions. Those have no impact on the immediate situation and the catastrophic human-trafficking explosion taking place right now. The only response to that so far has been to blame Donald Trump, whose policies had previously disincentivized such attempts, and to offer fake pictures to take the story out of the headlines.
By the way, Fox News also reports that the Biden administration will finally allow reporters to tour the Donna facility. One caveat will apply, however:
The Department of Homeland security announced plans to host a walk-through at a migrant processing center in Donna, Texas Thursday night, but cameras will not be allowed inside the facility.
Can’t allow competition to the Ministry of Propaganda, can we?
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