CNN’s white house correspondent Jeff Zeleny said Thursday that letting the press see migrant facilities “is largely irrelevant” because of bipartisan backlash.
Zeleny told CNN anchor Jake Tapper that President Joe Biden allowing the press into housing facilities for migrant children would be for the sake of “the American people being able to see their government at work here,” which isn’t necessary because there is bipartisan condemnation of the reported conditions.
“Whether he does that or not is largely irrelevant because members of Congress on both sides have made clear that the images that they have seen there are unacceptable,” Zeleny said.
Members of the press aren’t allowed into migrant detention facilities that are keeping unaccompanied child migrants, including the Carrizo Springs facility, because of the coronavirus pandemic, a Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
White House officials told reporters Wednesday that a single TV camera was permitted into the Carrizo Springs Influx Care Facility. The officials said the camera could go inside the facility when administration officials and lawmakers from Congress visited that same day.
“In fact, President Biden said himself the images he has seen in briefings are unacceptable. So, you know, the question is will the White House, you know, keep hiding behind the rules of COVID and other matters of not allowing some type of access?” Zeleny said.
“We’ll see if they’re able to sort of keep that up, but the reality is, there are enough eyeballs there that people are raising a stink about this, both Democrats and Republicans,” Zeleny said.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said southwest border apprehensions are set to reach a 20-year-record high, a March 16 DHS statement said. The DHS Secretary said some families and single adults are being turned away at the border, but unaccompanied children who are below 18 years old and aren’t with either a parent or legal guardian are not getting rejected at the border.