US

Biden could have broken the LAW by stopping building Trump’s border wall 

Joe Biden may have broken the law by halting construction of the border wall, it emerged on Tuesday, as the Government Accountability Office launched an inquiry.

The president campaigned on the promise of immediately ending the building work along the U.S.-Mexico border, and once in office he kept his promise.

On Tuesday the GAO confirmed that they were investigating whether Biden was legally allowed to end the construction, because the funding had already been approved. 

The news of the GAO investigation came amid an escalating crisis on the border, where migrant arrivals are surging and the Biden administration is struggling to cope. 

Migrants from Central America are detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents as they turn themselves in to request asylum, after crossing into El Paso

Earlier on Tuesday US Customs and Border Protection was been shamed into releasing its own photos from inside crowded migrant facilities,   after a Texas Democrat leapfrogged the agency and shared images of the ‘terrible conditions for children’ at the border.

The agency finally released photos on Tuesday where children are seen packed inside pens and forced to sleep on the floors in foil blankets – but has still banned the press from entering the facilities.

The CBP has repeatedly used COVID-19 precautions as an excuse to deny the media all access to its detention centers and the White House has kept the public in the dark for weeks. 

Officials say they want to ‘balance the need for public transparency and accountability’ – while still telling ‘external visitors’ not to visit the facilities to see the conditions for themselves.

First, Biden administration officials toyed with the idea that they would allow media visits but then downgraded this to say they would only share some photos with the press, before walking back on granting any insight altogether. 

On Monday, White House Press Secretary said journalists will eventually be able to tour the detention centers after Rep. Henry Cuellar released photos of the temporary facility in Donna, Texas, and slammed the situation a ‘humanitarian crisis.’ 

No timeline for media trips was given and the Biden administration continues to push the official line that there is ‘no crisis’. 

Around 15,000 children are being held in US government facilities along the border, with hundreds held in the CBP detention centers designed for adults for triple the duration legally allowed under US law after thousands upon thousands of migrants have crossed the border from Mexico into the US in recent weeks.     

A leaked memo sent Monday revealed the Department of Health and Human Services’s refugee agency is now directing its shelters to fast-track the release of children to parents or guardians in the US to free up beds to take more children from the CBP detention centers.  

One image shows children lying packed in like sardines side by side on mattresses on the floors inside a makeshift facility in Donna

One image shows children lying packed in like sardines side by side on mattresses on the floors inside a makeshift facility in Donna

Another image is taken from the outside of a transparent tent looking in on the dozens of people packed inside

Another image is taken from the outside of a transparent tent looking in on the dozens of people packed inside

Migrant children stand in line inside a temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, to get access to essentials while other children held in cage-like tents look on and wait their turn

Migrant children stand in line inside a temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, to get access to essentials while other children held in cage-like tents look on and wait their turn 

A children's play area is seen inside the temporary processing facility in Donna. The play area has a handful of toys and appears to be in a storage room or waiting area

A children’s play area is seen inside the temporary processing facility in Donna. The play area has a handful of toys and appears to be in a storage room or waiting area 

Video taken inside the facility in El Paso, Texas, shows migrants lying on mattresses on the floor with foil blankets

Video taken inside the facility in El Paso, Texas, shows migrants lying on mattresses on the floor with foil blankets

Inside the Donna facility. The CBP has repeatedly used COVID-19 precautions as an excuse to deny the media all access to its detention centers

Inside the Donna facility. The CBP has repeatedly used COVID-19 precautions as an excuse to deny the media all access to its detention centers

After keeping a tight lid on what is going on inside the facilities for weeks, a collection of images and video has finally been released by the CBP claiming to give a glimpse into what life is like inside the temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, and the Central Processing Center in El Paso, Texas.

Inside the Donna facility, children are seen lying packed in like sardines side by side on mattresses on the floors inside a transparent tent facility. 

The children are wrapped in foil blankets for warmth and are wearing face masks, but there is clearly no room for social distancing in the small confined space. 

Migrant children are also seen standing in line to get access to essential items and food while other children held in cage-like tents look on and wait their turn.   

Numbered transparent tent-like pens are seen set up on both sides of a room each packed with migrants who are awaiting processing to enter America. 

An image taken from the outside of one of the tent looks in on the dozens of people packed inside with pieces of foil blankets scattered around. 

There is also a children’s play area set up in what appears to be a storage room or waiting area, with a handful of toys for young kids. 

Meanwhile, footage taken inside the El Paso facility appears to paint a fun atmosphere with children seen sitting around watching television in a room and later screaming and shouting as they enjoy group exercise outdoors. 

It’s all a far cry from reports that have emerged in recent weeks – not to mention curiously somewhat less overcrowded in appearance than Cueller’s images of the very same facility in Donna shared just 24 hours earlier.

Neha Desai, a lawyer for the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) which represents migrant youth in government custody, told CBS about the harrowing conditions she saw at the Donna facility. 

She said the tent was so overcrowded that migrant children had to take turns sleeping on the floor and could only shower once a week.  

Many children also said they were being denied phone calls with their family members and hadn’t been outside in days. 

One of them shared that he could only see the sun when he showered, because you can see the sun through the window,’ Desai said. 

Migrants stand in line inside a temporary processing facility in Donna as the CBP said it was sharing the images in an effort to 'balance the need for public transparency and accountability'

Migrants stand in line inside a temporary processing facility in Donna as the CBP said it was sharing the images in an effort to ‘balance the need for public transparency and accountability’

A migrant is embraced by a child inside the Donna facility. The CBP finally released photos Tuesday after denying media requests for access

A migrant is embraced by a child inside the Donna facility. The CBP finally released photos Tuesday after denying media requests for access 

CBP personnel at work inside the Donna facility. Photos released Tuesday give a glimpse of what life is like inside the temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, and the Central Processing Center in El Paso, Texas

CBP personnel at work inside the Donna facility. Photos released Tuesday give a glimpse of what life is like inside the temporary processing facility in Donna, Texas, and the Central Processing Center in El Paso, Texas

US Customs and Border Protection has been shamed into releasing its own photos from inside crowded migrant facilities

US Customs and Border Protection has been shamed into releasing its own photos from inside crowded migrant facilities

The agency finally released photos Tuesday as it claimed it wants to 'balance the need for public transparency and accountability'

The agency finally released photos Tuesday as it claimed it wants to ‘balance the need for public transparency and accountability’

Yet despite claiming a want to be transparent, the CBP still told 'external visitors' not to visit the facilities to see the conditions for themselves

Yet despite claiming a want to be transparent, the CBP still told ‘external visitors’ not to visit the facilities to see the conditions for themselves

In the Donna facility, migrants wait to be processed so they can enter the US after crossing the southern border

In the Donna facility, migrants wait to be processed so they can enter the US after crossing the southern border 

The White House has kept the public in the dark for weeks about the conditions inside the overcrowded facilities

The White House has kept the public in the dark for weeks about the conditions inside the overcrowded facilities

HHS’s refugee agency directs shelters to fast-track release of migrant children into the US

The Department of Health and Human Services’s refugee agency has directed its shelters to fast-track the release of migrant children to parents or guardians in the US in order to free up beds to take more children from the CBP detention centers, according to a leaked memo. 

An internal email from the Office of Refugee Resettlement Monday, obtained by CBS, issued new guidance shelters to expedite the release of ‘category 1’ minors – children with parents or legal guardians in the US willing to house them. 

The fast-track process means caseworkers will partly fill out applications for the release of children on behalf of the parent and guardian sponsors and post them out to them, rather than wait for them to complete them.

Sponsors will also be able to text or email proof of ID and a public records check will only be carried out on them and not all adults in the household the child will be released to. 

The guidance cited exceptions to the rule including where the children are ‘especially vulnerable’; if their cases require a legally-mandated home study; or if there are red flags about their parents or legal guardians. 

The memo also granted shelters the authority to pay for parents’ travel costs to collect the children.

It is hoped this will speed up the process of releasing children into the US and free up beds for the agency to take in children from the CBP detention centers.   

Children must legally be transferred from CBP detention centers to the HHS shelters within 72 hours of their arrival.

But due to the influx in migrants, there are too few beds to take in all the children and a backlog in the arrivals  being processed.

As of Saturday 2,226 children had been held in custody for more than five days and 823 for more than 10 days. 

The CBP said it was sharing the images this week in an effort to ‘balance the need for public transparency and accountability’ in the wake of a backlash.

‘CBP continues to transfer unaccompanied minors to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as quickly and efficiently as possible after they are apprehended on the Southwest Border,’ it said in a statement Tuesday. 

Yet, the agency continued to insist people do not visit the site.  

‘In order to protect the health and safety of our workforce and those in our care we continue to discourage external visitors in our facilities; however, CBP is working to balance the need for public transparency and accountability.’ 

This comes one day after Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar shared images from inside the Donna facility taken over the weekend as he said 400 unaccompanied male minors are being held in ‘terrible conditions’ in a space meant to hold a maximum of 260 people.

Cuellar said he did not take the images but said they offer an insight into the ‘terrible conditions for the children’ at the border, where he has recently toured a different shelter for children. 

He said he was releasing them in part because the Biden administration has refused to do so and has refused access to the press.   

‘We ought to take care of those kids like they’re our own kids,’ Cuellar said. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday Cuellar’s images proved what the Biden administration has said all along – that the border facilities are no place for children.

‘These photos show what we’ve long been saying, which is that these border patrol facilities are not places made for children,’ she said in her press briefing on Monday. 

‘They are not places that we want children to be staying for an extended period of time. 

‘Our alternative is to send children back on this treacherous journey that is not, in our view, the right choice to make.’

Still refusing to call the situation at the US southern border a crisis, Psaki added: ‘Children, presenting at our border, who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations is not a crisis. 

‘We feel that it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance, and make sure they are treated and put in conditions that are safe.’  

Psaki said Monday the Biden administration was ‘working to finalize details’ on allowing the press to tour the facilities but said she didn’t know when this will be. 

The Biden administration has so far banned media access to the facilities amid a growing humanitarian and political crisis at the US southern border. Lawyers and lawmakers have been given tours. 

At the Donna facility, agency workers hand out food to migrant children being held there after crossing the border

At the Donna facility, agency workers hand out food to migrant children being held there after crossing the border 

Children line up for food with many young people seen carrying toddlers and younger children

Children line up for food with many young people seen carrying toddlers and younger children 

A child plays in a makeshift play pen inside the Donna facility in Texas where some children have been held for 10 days

A child plays in a makeshift play pen inside the Donna facility in Texas where some children have been held for 10 days 

The CBP finally released images of the temporary processing facilities after being shamed into doing so

The CBP finally released images of the temporary processing facilities after being shamed into doing so 

‘We are working to finalize details and I hope to have an update in the coming days,’ Psaki said after admitting ‘putting in place more effective and efficient processing at the border… is going to take some time’.  

Psaki had previously said there would be organized trips for press to gain access to detention facilities but later walked back on those comments, instead promising photos to show conditions.

Then last Thursday, Psaki said the White House would not be releasing to the media photos that advisors had shared with President Biden to brief him on conditions on facilities housing childhood migrants on the border. 

This week, reports surfaced that lawmakers are also now being denied access.  

On Monday, Republican Senator Ted Cruz wrote to Biden after he said access was refused to both the press and fourteen other senators who visited the border.  

‘The American people are beginning to understand the gravity of the situation,’ Cruz wrote.

‘But it is not enough for members of the Senate to see what is happening — the American people must see. That is why I requested that members of the media be allowed to join us. 

‘But your administration clearly and emphatically refused to offer press access.

‘This is outrageous and hypocritical,’ he said as he accused Psaki of reneging on the administration’s vow of ‘transparency’. 

‘Denying the press the ability to observe, film, and report on the conditions at the border is not openness or transparency – it is hiding the truth from the American people,’ added Cruz. 

‘The press and the American people deserve more than denials and excuses from a podium.’ 

Psaki said Monday that children at the facilities have been tested for COVID-19 and those who needed to be quarantined were separated out from the rest of the population. 

She didn’t have a timeline on when the president might go to the border after Biden said on Sunday he would make a trip at some point. 

A total of 823 unaccompanied children were held at US-Mexico border facilities for more than 10 days – more than a fourfold increase over the last week, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security document leaked to Axios Sunday.   

Footage released by the CBP showing migrants being processed at the El Paso, Texas, facility on March 19

Footage released by the CBP showing migrants being processed at the El Paso, Texas, facility on March 19

The footage and photos comes after the Biden administration has kept the public in the dark for weeks about the centers

The footage and photos comes after the Biden administration has kept the public in the dark for weeks about the centers 

Footage taken inside the El Paso facility appears to paint a fun atmosphere with children screaming and shouting as they enjoy exercise outdoors

Footage taken inside the El Paso facility appears to paint a fun atmosphere with children screaming and shouting as they enjoy exercise outdoors  

The children take part in an outdoor exercise class at the El Paso site in Texas while they await processing

The children take part in an outdoor exercise class at the El Paso site in Texas while they await processing

Footage taken inside the El Paso facility shows children sitting around watching television in a room

Footage taken inside the El Paso facility shows children sitting around watching television in a room

‘Biden wanted this to happen’: Tucker Carlson blasts president for border chaos

Tucker Carlson has blasted Joe Biden over the chaos at the border saying that the president ‘wanted this to happen’ because of previous comments he made.  

Carlson said on Fox News Monday, he hit out at the president for telling refugees during the 2020 campaign that ‘you should come’. 

‘The people streaming across the border want better lives for their families, and no one can hate them for that, least of all us,’ Carlson said. 

‘The people to blame are the reckless ideologues who caused this disaster. Joe Biden tops that list. Biden wanted this to happen. He said so out loud at a Democratic debate.’  

Carlson played a clip from the September 2019 Democratic debate in which Biden was asked why Latino voters should trust him after deportations had taken place during the Obama-Biden years. 

Biden said: ‘I would in fact make sure that… we immediately surge to the border all those people who are seeking asylum. 

‘They deserve to be heard, that’s who we are. We’re a nation that says, if you want to flee and you’re fleeing oppression, you should come’. 

Children are not supposed to be held in CBP for more than three days, by which point they should have been transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’s shelters. 

But due to the influx in migrants, there are too few beds to take in all the children and there is a backlog in the arrivals being processed.

Around 5,000 unaccompanied minors were held this weekend in the CBP centers. 

As of Saturday 2,226 children had been held in custody for more than five days and 823 for more than 10 days. 

The HHS’s refugee agency has more than 11,100 unaccompanied children in its care, including 1,500 teenage boys in a makeshift shelter in a Dallas convention center.

Four makeshift shelters have been opened in recent weeks with a fifth set to open at a convention center in San Diego.

The HHS has directed its shelters to fast-track the release of migrant children to parents or guardians in the US in order to free up beds to take more children from the CBP detention centers, according to a leaked memo. 

An internal email from the Office of Refugee Resettlement Monday, obtained by CBS, issued new guidance shelters to expedite the release of ‘category 1’ minors – children with parents or legal guardians in the US willing to house them. 

The fast-track process means caseworkers will partly fill out applications for the release of children on behalf of the parent and guardian sponsors and post them out to them, rather than wait for them to complete them.

Sponsors will also be able to text or email proof of ID and a public records check will only be carried out on them and not all adults in the household the child will be released to.  

The guidance cited exceptions to the rule including where the children are ‘especially vulnerable’; if their cases require a legally-mandated home study; or if there are red flags about their parents or legal guardians. 

The memo also granted shelters the authority to pay for parents’ travel costs to collect the children.

It is hoped this will speed up the process of releasing children into the US and free up beds for the agency to take in children from the CBP detention centers.  

Earlier this month, the Biden administration rolled back a Trump-era policy that allowed undocumented immigrants to be arrested when they came to pick up unaccompanied children.  

In the spring of 2018, the Trump administration tightened up the screening process – including getting ICE involved – for adults who stepped forward to sponsor children who traveled into the United States alone. 

This led to a much smaller number of children being released from Health and Human Services custody to a family member or sponsor, amid fears from adults they would also be deported. 

The Biden administration ended this rule in the hope it would no longer deter adults providing sponsorship to unaccompanied children.   

Congressman Henry Cuellar released the images; he confirmed they were taken over this weekend

Congressman Henry Cuellar released the images; he confirmed they were taken over this weekend

The pictures show inside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna

The pictures show inside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna

Rep. Cuellar said they offer an insight into the 'terrible conditions for the children' at the border

Rep. Cuellar said they offer an insight into the ‘terrible conditions for the children’ at the border

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had said there would be organized trips for press to gain access to detention facilities; later, she walked back on those comments and refused to share images from the facilities

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had said there would be organized trips for press to gain access to detention facilities; later, she walked back on those comments and refused to share images from the facilities

Cuellar said that as of Sunday 400 unaccompanied male minors were being kept in a tent meant to hold 260

Cuellar said that as of Sunday 400 unaccompanied male minors were being kept in a tent meant to hold 260

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the disturbing images of the cramped conditions inside a migrant 'overflow' tent in Texas showed what the Biden administration has said all along – the border facilities are not the place for children

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the disturbing images of the cramped conditions inside a migrant ‘overflow’ tent in Texas showed what the Biden administration has said all along – the border facilities are not the place for children

In total, the number of unaccompanied migrant kids in US custody surpassed 15,000 as of Saturday as the Biden administration announced that they ‘would not expel young, vulnerable children.’ 

This is a reverse of Trump administration policy, which was to generally expel all people who tried to illegally cross the border, regardless of age.  

Since Biden’s inauguration on January 20, the US has seen a dramatic spike in the number of people encountered by border officials.

There were 18,945 family members and 9,297 unaccompanied children encountered in February – an increase of 168 per cent and 63 per cent, respectively, from the month before, according to the Pew Research Center. 

On average, around 523 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended along the border each day over the last three weeks.  

After taking office, Biden lifted the Remain in Mexico policy, which kept migrants south of the border while waiting for their hearings, effectively allowing migrants who have applied for asylum to cross into the UD and begin their legal proceedings.

He also narrowed the ICE’s criteria for arrests and deportations and stopped the building of Trump’s border wall.   

These moves have led thousands upon thousands of migrants pouring into America leaving the border’s children’s centers so full that kids are being forced to spend up to 10 days in cramped detention centers meant for adults and sparking a backlog and logistical nightmare in processing the new entrants. 

Backlash after Kamala Harris LAUGHS and says ‘not today’ when reporter asks if she will visit border – just hours after photos revealed hellhole conditions at Biden’s migrant camps 

Kamala Harris was asked if she had plans to visit the US-Mexico border on Monday but appeared to laugh at the question when posed by a reporter.

‘Do you have any plans to visit the border?’ came the question while on the tarmac in Jacksonville, Florida

‘Not today,’ responded Harris, before laughing. ‘But I have before, and I’m sure I will again.’  

‘Hey Kalama: You better get down there’, wrote one Twitter user. 

‘She laughs off a lot of questions because she’s incompetent’  said one user.

Vice President Kamala Harris started laughing when asked if she would be visiting the border amid the surge in illegal immigrants entering the country

Vice President Kamala Harris started laughing when asked if she would be visiting the border amid the surge in illegal immigrants entering the country

‘Translation, ‘NO’. She wasn’t asking about your vacation plans @KamalaHarris there is a crisis you are ignoring, not a joke, not funny, and people deserve real answers….’ I’m sure I will again…’, stated another furious contributor. 

President Biden also said on Sunday that he will be making the trip ‘at some point’ despite previously saying he had no plans to visit. 

Harris was in Florida as she promoted the passage of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.  

The Biden administration has come under criticism for the way it has responded to  its response to the crisis, although it has refused to use that word.

‘Children presenting at our border who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations is not a crisis,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. ‘We feel it is our responsibility to humanely approach this circumstance and make sure they are treated, and put into conditions that are safe.’  

The Vice President’s response led to sharp criticism online.

A number of Twitter users were not impressed with the Vice President's response

A number of Twitter users were not impressed with the Vice President's response

A number of Twitter users were not impressed with the Vice President’s response


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