Assorted types of material are used along the San Ysidro border wall with Mexico during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in San Diego, California, U.S., February 19, 2021. REUTERS/Mike

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The Biden administration is opening a center for children ages 13-17 who were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Officials cited the increase in unaccompanied children crossing the border as well as coronavirus social distancing protocols as the reason behind moving the children.

The former camp for oil field workers in Carrizo Springs, Texas, has the capacity to house approximately 700 children and can be expanded if necessary.

“Our priority is the safety and well-being of each child in our care,” the Health and Human Services Department said in a statement. 

Some are critical of the Biden administration’s decision to place children in a facility that stirred a great deal of controversy when used by the Trump administration in 2019. Texas-based immigration lawyer Linda Brandmiller stated that placing the teenagers in these facilities was a “huge step backward,” adding that she believes the move is “unnecessary, it’s costly, and it goes absolutely against everything [President] Biden promised he was going to do.”

Many prominent conservatives say that the Biden administration placing children in the same facility used during the Trump administration is hypocritical. During a recent press conference, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy questioned Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the matter, citing that at the time Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden said the Trump administration was guilty of “human rights abuse.” Psaki cited coronavirus precautions as the reason for the decision, stating that it would be inhumane to release unaccompanied minors at the border.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

U.S. shelters for migrant children near maximum capacity as border crossings increase – CBS News – 2/23/2021
Due to the steady increase in border crossings by unaccompanied children, nearly 90% of the 8,000 available beds administered by the federal agency charged with housing these minors are being occupied. On Monday, the number of children housed by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reached 7,100, leaving fewer than 900 empty beds.

Biden administration reopens Trump-era migrant children housing facility – The Blaze – 2/23/2021
In both cases, Biden administration officials are attempting to put a nice spin on the move. But what’s happening in this case is obvious, at least to CNN reporter Priscilla Alvarez, who acknowledged, “While administration officials have condemned Trump’s actions, they’re still relying on them as they sort out next steps.” Despite the administration’s best efforts to cast the move in a positive light, progressive immigration lawyers and advocates are also calling it out for what it is.

No, Biden’s new border move isn’t like Trump’s ‘kids in cages’ – Washington Post – 2/23/2021
And here’s the biggest point: Trump’s policy on children at the border wasn’t controversial merely because it resulted in children being held at the border, which is a long-standing reality and is what will happen at this facility. It was controversial because it forced children to be separated from their parents given its hard-line policy requiring that the parents be held and not released into the country (and given that children couldn’t be held with their parents). This, in effect, made for more children (often very young) that needed to be held alone — about 3,000 in total — beyond the unaccompanied minors (who are often older) who arrive.

Biden’s Child Detention Centers Are Now Bursting At The Seams – Daily Caller – 2/23/2021
Weber said the criticism of the facility was because people correlate them with Immigration and Customs Enforcement centers and said that children received good care regardless of the administration, the Post reported. The Carrizo Springs facility does not have to meet state licensing requirements, though Weber said the facility will “meet or exceed” Texas’s standards, the Post reported. It costs around $800 daily to hold a child at influx facilities and just under $300 to keep them at permanent facilities, the Post reported.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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