Biden administration limits what Border Patrol can share with media about migrant surge at border

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  1stwarrior  •  one month ago  •  19 comments

Biden administration limits what Border Patrol can share with media about migrant surge at border
Restrictions on what border agents can share with the media were passed down verbally, say officials. Some have released videos of the border surge anyway.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T





WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is restricting the information Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs can share with the media as a surge of migrants tests the agency's capacity at the southern border, according to four current and two former Customs and Border Protection officials.

The officials say the restrictions are seen as an unofficial "gag order" and are often referred to that way among colleagues. The officials requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media about the topic.


Border Patrol officials have been told to deny all media requests for "ride-alongs" with agents along the southern land border; local press officers are instructed to send all information queries, even from local media, to the press office in Washington for approval; and those responsible for cultivating data about the number of migrants in custody have been reminded not to share the information with anyone to prevent leaks, the officials said.

Multiple news organizations, including NBC News, have requested access to or photos from inside overcrowded border processing facilities holding unaccompanied migrant children; they have been denied. The DHS press office released one photo late Tuesday of a mother and child undergoing a health screening inside a border facility, but no wider shots to show conditions or sleeping arrangements.

At the height of the Trump administration’s child separation policy in June 2018, it allowed media to tour facilities where separated children were held.

The new restrictions have been passed down verbally, not through an official memo, the officials said. The unofficial policy has led some agents at the border to release videos that show mass arrests and surges of migrants without permission from Washington, two officials said.

Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security have not offered any media tours of the newly opened processing facility in Donna, Texas, which is reported to be over capacity with unaccompanied migrant children, a DHS official said.

Some of the restrictions, particularly for in-person tours, are due to Covid-19 precautions, said one of the current officials. But, as the current official said, while the Trump administration allowed some border ride-alongs for journalists during the pandemic, there has been "not a single one since January 20," the day President Joe Biden was inaugurated.

A DHS spokesperson said the agency is following standards set in 2014.

"Across the federal government, certain employees are designated spokespeople for their respective agencies and public statements are vetted to ensure accuracy. This standard and process has been followed at DHS since the Department's inception and across bipartisan administrations. Customs and Border Protection continues to publicly provide the same monthly data on the same schedule as it has since 2014," the spokesperson said.

The Trump administration's media strategy for DHS often focused on highlighting the dangers posed by migrants, at times inflating the risk. Politically appointed public affairs officials under President Donald Trump pushed local border sectors to publicize arrests and to take national media organizations to the border to see agents in action.

"Part of maintaining the public trust is to communicate regularly and often," a former official said.





A second current official, who has served in the past three administrations, said the current climate for Customs and Border Protection personnel is more similar to what it was during the Obama administration.






"It was more restrictive under Obama than under Trump, when there was more autonomy for each region to speak to the media," the second current official said.

With the change in tone from the Biden administration, which has committed to a more humane system on the southern border, some border agents have released videos without permission.

One such video was posted online over the weekend by the office of Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. The video shows dozens of migrants, including young children, being shuttled across the Rio Grande by raft. A spokeswoman for Cuellar said that the video was shot in March but that "Congressman Cuellar is not able to say who gave him the video." Two officials, however, said the video came from a border agent.

Cuellar has previously criticized Biden for not visiting the border during the surge.

Another key piece of data is the number of unaccompanied children in Border Patrol custody. While the number has historically been somewhat protected, as it is law enforcement-sensitive, a congressional aide said the data have been harder to accumulate amid a leak crackdown.



Speaking to reporters at the White House on March 1, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas committed to being transparent with the media, citing "another principle to which I intend to adhere throughout my tenure, and that's openness and transparency, and that includes the Fourth Estate."



Mayorkas was responding to a reporter who said that she had been denied access to Border Patrol facilities and that the agency had cited Covid-19 restrictions. Mayorkas said he would look into it to find out why access was denied.

In a statement released Tuesday, Mayorkas said DHS is "on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years."

The Biden administration finds itself in a difficult position when it comes to messaging about immigration. On one hand, it wants to show voters it has a more humane approach, while on the other hand it doesn't want to encourage more undocumented migrants to cross the border.

Speaking at the White House last week, Ambassador Roberta Jacobson, Biden's coordinator for the southern border, told reporters: "It is difficult at times to convey both hope in the future and the danger that is now. And that is what we're trying to do. And I — I will certainly agree that we are trying to walk and chew gum at the same time."




























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1stwarrior
Professor Expert
1  seeder  1stwarrior    one month ago

Oh yeah - let's have some more of the Obama "Open and Transparent" government, eh?

This administration is gonna have its azz handed to it by this stupid-azz non-action.  Dammit, don't they understand that you have to have JOINT COOPERATION with the locals, other countries, the administration itself for any type of immigration policy to work???

This is how you get the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing with totally futched up actions/lack thereof.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)    one month ago
The Biden administration is restricting the information Border Patrol agents and sector chiefs can share with the media as a surge of migrants tests the agency's capacity at the southern border, according to four current and two former Customs and Border Protection officials.

So... were they required to sign an NDA? jrSmiley_87_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2    one month ago

Never mind... I found my answer further down in the article. jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
2.1.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.1    one month ago

Glasses and coffee MrAubrey - clean the glasses and drink more coffee - jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2.1.2  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.1    one month ago

Got my glasses on, but I jumped the gun. jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
2.1.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.1.2    one month ago

Ooops - "MsAubrey".jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2.1.4  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  1stwarrior @2.1.3    one month ago

No worries my dear.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
2.1.5  Nerm_L  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.1.2    one month ago
Got my glasses on, but I jumped the gun.

Yeah, that happens sometimes.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
2.1.6  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.5    one month ago

That made me giggle a little. 

That was a lot of fire though.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
2.1.7  Nerm_L  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2.1.6    one month ago
That made me giggle a little. 

Then it was worth posting.  A giggle now & then is a good thing. jrSmiley_34_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
2.1.8  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.5    one month ago

Interesting that you posted that.  When working at Patrick/Canaveral AFB as the Natural Resources Manager, we had to abort a Delta launch 'cause there was a Great Horned Owl nest on the gantry with an egg in it - you know, that ESA thingy.  We closed the launch site down, crews climbed the gantry, captured the egg and brought it down to our shop.  Only cost the military $1.1M for that scrub.

Six months later, after the egg hatched, she was released at the launch site - beauty to watch.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
2.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka) @2    one month ago

Based on all the "lack of information" being provided by this administration - you betcha.

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
3  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)    one month ago
The Biden administration finds itself in a difficult position when it comes to messaging about immigration. On one hand, it wants to show voters it has a more humane approach, while on the other hand it doesn't want to encourage more undocumented migrants to cross the border.

Too late.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
4  Nerm_L    one month ago

So, Joe Biden has adopted a wise monkey policy as a return to normal.  Hey, Joe, business as usual ain't working.

256

Donald Trump found out that ignoring reality doesn't work to win elections.  Why has Joe Biden adopted the same approach for immigration policy?

C'mon man!

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
5  Texan1211    one month ago

Looks like the Biden Admin. doesn't want the real truth about what is happening along the border to get exposed.

Hmmmmm....is it possible that practically inviting people to come here legally and illegally could be a situation with foreseeable problems not addressed by the Biden Admin.?

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
5.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Texan1211 @5    one month ago

The administration doesn't want people to find out that they're doing the EXACT same things that Trump did, but now because it's on a grander scale, it's proving to be far more difficult to control. DUH!

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
6  Greg Jones    one month ago

It looks like they never had sort of plan on how to deal with this alien invasion

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
7  Tacos!    one month ago

It’s easier to put blind faith in the government when you can’t see what it’s doing.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Expert
7.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tacos! @7    one month ago

jrSmiley_28_smiley_image.gif

 
 
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