White House officials, lawmakers to visit border facility
A group of White House officials and members of Congress will travel on Wednesday to a facility housing young migrants near the southern border and will be accompanied by a media member as the Biden administration faces pressure to provide transparency on the situation at the border.
The White House did not specify which officials will be traveling to the Carrizo Springs, Texas, facility run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. But it said one network camera will be allowed into the facility to provide footage to the rest of the media.
“The Biden Administration is committed to transparency and will continue to work with agencies on creating avenues for media access and visibility at both Homeland Security and Health and Human Service facilities,” the White House said in a statement. “Agencies will continue working to fulfill requests from Members of Congress for access to these facilities as well.”
The administration has faced repeated questions in recent weeks over the lack of press access to the facilities where migrant children are being held as it grapples with a growing crisis at the border.
Photos and video released earlier this week showed the conditions children are living in at one facility, adding further pressure to the administration.
Authorities have apprehended tens of thousands of migrants in recent weeks, many of them unaccompanied minors. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told lawmakers last week the U.S. is “on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years.”
Mayorkas traveled to the border last week with a bipartisan group of senators. Two top Biden officials met Monday with Mexican officials to discuss the surge in migrants.
Vice President Harris on Wednesday said she and President Biden will “absolutely” travel to the southern border at some point as the administration grapples with a surge in migrants that is proving difficult to get under control.
“Absolutely we will go down to the border, and I’ve been down to the border,” Harris told “CBS This Morning.”
Harris urged patience, noting the Biden administration has been in office for less than 100 days and that many of the systems used to process migrant cases need to be rebuilt.
“It’s going to take some time,” she said. “And are we frustrated, are you frustrated? Yes, we are.”