NYT: Cuellar’s pretty much right about Biden’s border shell game

Well, we assumed. Why else would a House Democrat publicly blast a Democratic president for border-security and humanitarian issues? The New York Times reports that while some of the facilities at the border have become less crowded, it’s because they’ve transferred illegally-entering children to other facilities — which are almost at capacity as well:

Biden administration officials have insisted that they have gotten better control of a surge of migrant children that has swamped detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

But documents obtained by The New York Times indicate that the problem has moved to other facilities, like convention centers in Dallas, San Diego and Long Beach, Calif., which are nearing capacity as funds for more space are scarce. …

In all, over the past week, more than 21,000 children were living in shelters under government care, leaving the shelters around 80 percent full. A shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas has a capacity of 2,270 — and a caseload of 1,990. The San Diego Convention Center’s 1,450 beds are all taken. The Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio is 90 children away from its 2,100 limit and announced on Friday it would stop taking in migrant children after this month. The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is similarly full, according to the document.

Not only are they running out of space, they’re running out of money, too:

According to the document, a $366 million shortfall hits this month “and grows quickly through July.” Officials project the cost for the entire 2021 fiscal year could be higher than $8 billion.

This might be good news if the flow over the border had stopped, or even slowed down significantly. Had the Biden administration finished the border wall before signaling a more liberal approach to asylum and shelter, perhaps the record-shattering spike might never have taken place. However, not only has the wave of migration not slowed down, officials expect it to increase — and they’re expanding their use of hotels in anticipation:

The United States has also been increasingly allowing migrant families to enter the country because of new barriers to sheltering families in Mexico. As a result, the administration has struggled to find space for them and has turned to housing them in hotels before releasing them into the country.

The administration is expected to expand the number of hotels holding families this weekend, according to a senior homeland security official, a sign of the potential increase in crossings by migrants in the near future.

That certainly doesn’t sound like Biden and his team have the border crisis under control. It sounds more like the White House is spending more and more resources to deal with the aftermath of a migrant wave rather than erecting barriers — physical and otherwise — to prevent it in the first place. Even if those first-stage facilities have been emptied out temporarily, that limited free space won’t last for very long.

And while the NYT gives a credulous take on the temporary relief in those first-stage facilities, remember that Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) says even that’s a fugazy. “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 revealed earlier this week. Given the deluge of migrants illegally crossing the border, even that shell game won’t last for long.

One last note: why didn’t the NYT include Cuellar’s testimony in this article? There’s no mention of Cuellar at all, let alone anything to indicate that he’s been a Cassandra among Democrats on this issue all along.

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