A team of White House officials will allow very limited media access on Wednesday to a Texas shelter where the Department of Health and Human services is housing teenagers who crossed the border without their parents.
One network TV camera will be allowed into the facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, opened last month to house 700 unaccompanied teenagers, and those images will be shared with other outlets. The White House officials will be joined by some members of Congress on the trip.
While there have been concerns about the administration opening the Carrizo Springs shelter, it isn’t the source of as many concerns as those on the border. The shelter is set up for children, with bunk beds, educational programs and a medical clinic.
There has been no media access inside the warehouse-like facilities on the border set up for adults and run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection where hundreds of minors have been held for more than 10 days, longer than the 72 hours allowed by law.
The Biden administration has denied journalists access to those areas, but did release photos and video of two South Texas facilities being used to process children and families following concerns raised by Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas about young migrants being crammed into “pods” divided only by plastic tarps.
Courtesy of the Office of Rep. Henry Cuellar via AP
He also raised concerns about seeing “terrible conditions for the children” at one of the facilities in Donna, Texas.
The Biden administration is under increasing pressure to address the challenges at the border. The new administration largely blamed the Trump administration for handing over a broken system and describe steps they’ve taken to accept the new influx of unaccompanied minors into the country and end controversial programs that require migrants to remain in Mexico as “a moral imperative.”