President Joe Biden has been sharply criticized for his handling of the crisis-level surge of migrants at the U.S.–Mexico border — and it seems even Democrats have had enough.
The Biden administration recently released photos and footage intended to show improvement at housing facilities for unaccompanied children who cross the border, but according to one Democratic congressman, it’s evidence of little more than a “shell game” that the White House is playing with the media.
According to Fox News, the comments came late last week from Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat who has a history of calling out the shortcomings of the current administration.
“It’s all been a shell game”
Cuellar was speaking with NBC Nightly News Thursday, where he revealed that photos and videos put out by federal officials — ostensibly meant to counter footage he’d previously leaked to the media showing the drastically overcrowded facilities along the border — were little more than sleight of hand.
“All they’re doing is moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying oh, they’re out of Border Patrol custody but they’re next door, next door in HHS,” he said, referring to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to Fox.
“With all due respect, it’s all been a shell game,” Cuellar added.
The numbers don’t lie
The NBC report seemed to confirm Cuellar’s assertion: while the number of unaccompanied migrant children in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had indeed fallen to just 749 in the latest report, the number of children in the custody of HHS soared to 21,484.
Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse characterized the situation as a “revolving door.”
“HHS spent billions of dollars on tents, motels, military bases, and convention centers,” he said, according to Fox. “May 4, 451 unaccompanied children apprehended. The border [patrol] transferred 376 to HHS, which then discharged 420 to families and foster care,” the Fox contributor explained.
He went on: “It’s true that the administration has dramatically reduced the amount of time that these unaccompanied minors are spending in border patrol processing, [but] that does not mean there are fewer children entering illegally or that are in U.S. custody.”