The Biden administration said last week that it had gotten better control of the surge of illegal immigrant children crowding immigration facilities at the border.
That’s a true statement. What the administration didn’t bother to mention was the fact that the reason they had better control is that they’re playing a shell game with the illegals, moving them from overcrowded border patrol facilities to shelters operated by HHS. Those shelters — in convention centers along the border — are now even more crowded than the CBP detention centers they left.
In all, over the past week, more than 21,000 children were living in shelters under government care, leaving the shelters around 80 percent full. A shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas has a capacity of 2,270 — and a caseload of 1,990. The San Diego Convention Center’s 1,450 beds are all taken. The Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio is 90 children away from its 2,100 limit and announced on Friday it would stop taking in migrant children after this month. The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is similarly full, according to the document.
According to the document, a $366 million shortfall hits this month “and grows quickly through July.” Officials project the cost for the entire 2021 fiscal year could be higher than $8 billion.
If they’re going to stay, the kids are probably better off in the convention centers. It’s better than sleeping on the floor with only a tinfoil blanket. But rather than try to change the perception that border-crossers will be turned back immediately, the Biden administration appears to be preparing for an even greater influx of new arrivals.
The United States has also been increasingly allowing migrant families to enter the country because of new barriers to sheltering families in Mexico. As a result, the administration has struggled to find space for them and has turned to housing them in hotels before releasing them into the country.
The administration is expected to expand the number of hotels holding families this weekend, according to a senior homeland security official, a sign of the potential increase in crossings by migrants in the near future.
That certainly doesn’t sound like Biden and his team have the border crisis under control. It sounds more like the White House is spending more and more resources to deal with the aftermath of a migrant wave rather than erecting barriers — physical and otherwise — to prevent it in the first place. Even if those first-stage facilities have been emptied out temporarily, that limited free space won’t last for very long.
And while the NYT gives a credulous take on the temporary relief in those first-stage facilities, remember that Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) says even that’s a fugazy. “All they’re doing is moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying oh, they’re out of Border Patrol custody but they’re next door, next door in HHS,” Cuellar revealed earlier this week. Given the deluge of migrants illegally crossing the border, even that shell game won’t last for long.
The Biden administration has dealt with this crisis by sweeping the news of it under the rug. They still aren’t allowing press access to the facilities without DHS permission, which appears to be just fine with the media. What they would have screamed about during the Trump years gets only silence today.