Members of the media will not be able to visit migrant detention centers holding minors near the southern border due to COVID-19, a spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Reporters will not be allowed inside the Carrizo Springs facility for unaccompanied minors that was recently opened under the Biden administration in Texas, a Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) spokesperson told the DCNF.
“The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is not hosting media tours of unaccompanied children (UC) facilities currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” an ACF spokesperson told the DCNF. “If media tours resume, we will send a media advisory,” the spokesperson added.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he would look into why an ABC News reporter was told they would not be allowed to tour migrant facilities in Texas due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during a White House briefing Monday.
“I’m happy to take a look at that, I owe it to my people to understand the situation and the reasons why access was denied,” Mayorkas said. “Let me share with you what I communicate to the workforce and we’ll leave it at that because it’s in the service of openness and transparency. Don’t shrink from criticism, just work very hard not to deserve it,” Mayorkas said.
Carrizo Springs is privately operated and does not have to comply with the standards set for other government-owned facilities leading to criticism from immigration activists, The Wall Street Journal reported. The facility once housed oil field workers and was remodeled to accommodate unaccompanied migrant children.
The Carrizo Springs facility was originally opened in June 2019 under the Trump administration and received criticism from Democrats, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) refused to say how the migrants would be treated differently under the Biden administration, the DCNF reported.