President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly limiting the information Border Patrol agents can share to the media despite the immigration crisis at the border, according to NBC News.
The Biden Administration is allegedly blocking what Border Patrol can share about the crisis at the southern border. If the reports are factual, the immigration crisis might actually be worse than what many think. The administration is trying to manage the high numbers of migrants trying to get into the country. This surge comes due to the more lenient approach of the new administration.
The news outlet cited four current Border Patrol officials and two former ones. They told NBC News about the limitations. They reportedly received the instructions through word of mouth. Within the agency, they see this and call it an unofficial gag order.”
Border Patrol “Gag Order” Limitations:
These officials wanted to remain anonymous since they are not allowed to share this information with the media. Additionally, according to the news outlet, the limitation includes the following:
- Border Patrol officials have reportedly received the instruction to deny all media-requested “ride alongs” at the southern border.
- Local press officers reportedly need to forward every information queries they received to the press office in Washington, which can approve or reject it.
- People gathering the data about the number of migrants at the border received instructions to not give any information to anyone so that leaks won’t happen.
A few weeks ago, the Biden administration allegedly limited media access to the facilities housing migrant children at the US-Mexico border. They conveniently cited COVID-19 concerns. According to NBC News, multiple media groups tried to ask for access to the facilities and at least take photos. However, they have all been denied these repeatedly.
This “gag order” shows how the Biden administration wants to limit the public’s access to information regarding the immigration crisis, just to avoid criticism. Officials have continued trying to pass off what was happening as a “difficult challenge” that would only last for a short while. They also try to show it as a problem created by the way the Trump administration failed when it came to immigration.
Images of the Border Situation Still Leaked
However, even with these limitations, a few people leaked images of the actions on the border to the press and lawmakers in Congress. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) received one such video. It shows a lot of migrants on rafts, being transported across the Rio Grande River.
The lawmaker’s office did not reveal who sent him the video. However, officials who spoke to NBC News did say that border agents sent him the said video.
With this report about information restrictions surfacing, a spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security said the agency currently follows protocols set way back in 2014.
According to the spokesperson, in the federal government, some employees work as spokespeople for the agencies they work for. The spokesperson added that public statements made through these spokespeople are vetted so that they can make sure what’s being released is accurate.
The DHS has followed this protocol since they had received the instruction to do so. Additionally, the spokesperson said that Customs and Border Protection still publicly shares monthly data on a schedule since 2014.