When asked about the Biden administration’s decision to reopen detention centers for migrant children, White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed they had no choice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Why is the administration reopening a temporary facility for migrant children in Texas?” Fox News’s Peter Doocy asked during a press conference on Tuesday.
“Because of COVID-19 protocols, like social distancing requirements, the capacity at existing Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters has been significantly reduced because, of course, you can’t have a child in every bed. There needs to be spacing, and we abide by the spacing to protect the kids who are living in those facilities for a short period of time,” Psaki said.
According to Psaki, the Biden administration’s policy is still “not to expel unaccompanied children who arrived at the border.” But processing “can take a couple of days,” and during processing, children are forced into temporary holding facilities “to ensure the health and safety of these kids.”
“HHS took steps to open an emergency facility to add capacity where these children can be provided the care they need while they are safely, before they are safely placed with families and sponsors,” Psaki said.
“Our intention is very much to close it, but we want to ensure that we can follow COVID protocols, as unaccompanied minors come into the United States,” she added.
Questions about Biden’s handling of migrant children started circulating after the Washington Post published an article on the reopening of a detention center for children in Texas.
“First migrant facility for children opens under Biden,” the article’s title said. The article also featured a photo of shipping containers with windows covered in bars.
Twitter erupted in negative reactions after the publication of the article. Many people pointed out the hypocrisy of the Left scrutinizing President Donald Trump for detaining children at the border and keeping “kids in cages.”
“What an absolutely sweet and lovely way to describe immigration detention centers — poetic almost. It’s been a while since Trump was President, so my memory isn’t perfect, but I vaguely recall a different phrase used back then. But that’s the beauty of human language: it evolves,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.
Many politicians have also noted the media’s difference in tone when reporting on Trump vs. Biden.