Customs and Border Protection officials are reportedly under an unofficial “gag order” and barred from talking to the press amid a worsening situation at the border.
Illegal immigrants continue to flood into the U.S., largely motivated by President Joe Biden’s lax policies on border security and soft messaging from his administration. As the crisis continues to worsen, the Biden administration has barred Border Patrol officials from speaking to the press or allowing journalists to tour border facilities, according to NBC News.
Such measures were never instituted to such an extent throughout the Trump administration.
As NBC reports:
Border Patrol officials have been told to deny all media requests for “ride-alongs” with agents along the southern land border; local press officers are instructed to send all information queries, even from local media, to the press office in Washington for approval; and those responsible for cultivating data about the number of migrants in custody have been reminded not to share the information with anyone to prevent leaks, the officials said.
Multiple news organizations, including NBC News, have requested access to or photos from inside overcrowded border processing facilities holding unaccompanied migrant children; they have been denied. The DHS press office released one photo late Tuesday of a mother and child undergoing a health screening inside a border facility, but no wider shots to show conditions or sleeping arrangements.
The new restrictions have not been detailed in an official memo but passed down through the ranks verbally, according to NBC. News of the “gag order” follows a Tuesday report suggesting that the number of unaccompanied children at the border is three times higher than previously believed.
As The Daily Wire reported:
CBS News host Norah O’Donnell said Biden’s border crisis was “growing larger and more dire by the day.”
“Tonight, we have got the stunning new numbers,” O’Donnell said. “Sources tell CBS News more than 13,000 migrant children who entered the country without their parents are now in U.S. custody. The government says even more adults are being turned back every day.”
In a tweet, O’Donnell noted that the 13,000 unaccompanied minors, which is significantly higher than the roughly 4,200 that were reported in U.S. custody at the start of the week, “are being held in U.S. custody for an average of 120 hours, far longer than the 72 hours allowed by law.”
Illegal immigrants flocking to the U.S. southern border have cited some of the rhetoric coming out of the Biden administration as their reason for making the trip. Biden pushed back on a Tuesday interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos.
“The idea that Joe Biden said, ‘Come’ – because I heard the other day that they’re coming because they know I’m a nice guy,” Biden said. “Here’s the deal, they’re not.”
“I can say quite clearly: Don’t come,” Biden added later. “Don’t leave your town or city or community.”