While we applaud the Biden administration’s reversal of inhumane border policies by the last administration, the current administration has mishandled the recent influx of asylum seekers at the border and shrouded its efforts in secrecy.
Thousands more asylum seekers from Central America flooded the border in the last few months upon hearing of the reversal in U.S. policy. The Trump administration had the policy of sending those seekers, including children, back across the border to await hearings. The Biden administration is not sending children back and therefore some 15,000 remain in camps in Texas and other places.
But worse than the logistical mistakes are the mistakes in not letting the American people know the scope of the problem and administration plans to address it. The media, and even legal advocates for immigrants, have been kept away from the camps. It was only recently that photographs taken by Axios saw the light of day and showed conditions for containing the children to be less than ideal.
The photos were released by Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who represents the border city of Loredo, who urged administration officials to “take care of those kids like they’re our own.”
Many were sleeping on mats with foil blankets and separated by plastic sheeting.
While Biden officials assured the press earlier this week that they would be granted access, such access requests have been made as far back as February.
The Associated Press made requests at least seven times to report on and photograph the situation at the border since Feb. 4 and has consistently been met with no response. It is important to respect the privacy of children who already have been traumatized by their journey, but usually the press can work around those issues and those who do not want to be photographed.
The Biden team was apparently caught off guard by how many more migrants would head toward the border and are now scrambling to find suitable housing and facilities to accommodate the migrants and their children. But it will take time.
The administration not only has to get its act together to ease the situation as soon as possible, but they need to be transparent about the current situation and their efforts to solve it.