Congressman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D– NY) has recently vocalized public opposition to the Biden administration’s recent reopening of migrant child camps for unaccompanied minors crossing the border.
On Monday, the Biden Administration reopened a migrant youth holding facility located in Carrizo Springs, Texas– a facility that Biden plans to hold 700 migrant children aged 13-17. This facilities– and others like it– were designed and stationed, as described by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to protect migrant children who were: (1) Crossing the border unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, (2) Sought or needed emergency shelter, or (3) Being subjected or forced to participate in trafficking and/or any illegal activities on the border.
The DHHS has also noted that “Influx care facilities are not secure facilities:” meaning, ‘any children in the facilities are not being kept in them against their will.’ The Carrizo Springs migrant youth facility in Texas was opened by President Trump and his administration in 2019 with the goal of providing emergency shelter & services to youth victims of the child trafficking black market coming across the border. The New York Congressman, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, has recently criticised President Biden’s reopening of the Texas facility, in saying it is “not okay, never has been okay, and never will be okay– no matter the administration or the party.”
On the campaign trail, Biden repeatedly attacked the Trump Administration’s immigration policy, claiming, “We need to totally reform our immigration system!” Thus, many firm believers in this idea– like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez herself– felt betrayed by his reinstatement of the policies they perceived as ‘unjust’ or ‘inhumane’ of the Trump Administration. Representative Cortez later expanded on this point, saying “Our immigration system is built on a carceral framework. It’s no accident that challenging how we approach both these issues are considered ‘controversial’ stances.”
Linda Brandmiller, an immigration defense attorney, illustrated this sentiment when she told the Washington Post “It’s a step backward, is what it is. It’s a huge step backward.” At the same time, supporters of the Biden Administration’s use of these facilities, actually, as the ‘justified’ or ‘humane’ thing to do. Many have claimed that these policies are the only way to ‘crack down’ on the immoral and vile human trafficking of children and young adults accross the border.
As for Biden’s reinstatement of these policies, the motive is currently unclear. However, a non-partisan source– The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services– has given some insight into a possible motive in resorting to the Carrizo Springs facility, saying, “While numbers of arriving children have been going up, the immediate urgency is happening because of COVID. ORR had arranged to have over 13,000 beds available for arriving unaccompanied children, but right now, thousands of them can’t be used because of the need for social distancing, capacity to do quarantining and isolation of children, and meet other requirements for the safety of children and staff. That is why the agency has been running out of licensed beds.”
ARTICLE: CARSON WOLF
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE WASHINGTON POST