UPDATED 11:54 AM PT – Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Joe Biden is facing backlash after recent reports revealed the administration opened its first immigration facility for children. According to reports Monday, Biden reopened a tent housing facility in Texas that’s holding up to 700 immigrant teenagers.
The move has advocates, lawyers and human rights activists accusing the administration of breaking a campaign promise to establish more immigration reform. Critics have also argued that the facility, which allows for in-person education, is hypocritical as Biden has yet to launch a plan for public schools in the U.S. to get back in the classroom.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the move to reporters on Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defends the administration’s creation and use of “migrant facilities for children” at the southern border:
“This is not kids being kept in cages."
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) February 23, 2021
The emergency shelter was previously opened under the Trump administration for a month in 2019. At the time, Biden spoke against the administration’s immigration policies.
Meanwhile, hundreds of migrants are seeking asylum as they wait at the Mexico border to enter the U.S. Around 300 migrants have currently set up tents south of the San Ysidro border crossing in California.
This comes as asylum seekers signed up for the Biden administration’s so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which allows migrants with active cases to be processed at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, the United Nations has warned people not to go to the border.
“We are asking people to not go to the border…to use these two virtual modalities to register so that they can be queued up and then be able to cross the border in an orderly fashion,” stated Mark Manly, a representative for the UN Refugee Agency. “If people have already entered the United States, they shouldn’t go to the border and they should await instructions from the U.S. government on how their case can be dealt with. ”
The Biden administration is set to review immigration cases for nearly 25,000 people enrolled in the migrant program this Friday. In the meantime, the migrant facility for children is set to remain open.
BREAKING: Sign outside Biden's migrant children detention center pic.twitter.com/Jr8cPpty94
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 23, 2021