The Biden administration is set to allow detention facilities for migrant children to operate at 100 per cent capacity as the border crisis worsens. The policy comes amid widespread criticism of Biden’s failure to handle the massive influx of illegal entry into the United States through the southern border, following Biden’s promise to offer amnesty to illegal immigrants.
According to Axios, the move was reportedly approved by the Centres of Disease Control, and overrides previous guidance that called for detention facilities to operate at a 50 per cent capacity to enable social distancing. However, the border crisis has reached a tipping point, forcing the Biden administration to revoke the pandemic-era policy.
“The fact that the country’s premier health advisory agency is permitting a change in COVID-19 protocols indicates the scale of the immigration crisis,” Axios reports. “Shelters have been getting an average of 321 children per day — up from 47 per day the first week of January — and expect to need 20,000 beds to accommodate an anticipated record number of child migrants.”
A CDC draft memo obtained by the publication suggests that the situation has grown so dire that officials must be prepared to see an increase in coronavirus cases as the number of illegal crossings continues to rise.
“At this time, CBP does not have adequate space for physical distancing, quarantine of persons exposed to COVID-19 or isolation of ill or infected persons,” says the memo, according to Axios. “As of March 1, 2021, four CBP sectors are over COVID-adjusted capacity.”
The report comes amid a Washington Examiner report that the Biden administration is considering rebranding the detention facilities to help control the narrative surrounding the crisis.
“Biden officials are considering naming the facilities ‘reception centers,’ according to three people familiar with the discussions, on the logic that the name sounds less harsh,” the Examiner reported. “The name would distinguish the facilities, one of which has been set up in Carrizo Springs, Texas, from existing structures maintained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Health and Human Services’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. Images of one such Border Patrol facility led to criticism that President Donald Trump held children in ‘cages.’ Often, other such buildings are called ‘detention centers’ or ‘holding facilities.’”
The border crisis has alarmed state officials in Texas to the point where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered National Guard troops to secure the border.