American News May 10, 2021 2:06 AM EST

Democrat Rep. slams DHS for 'misleading' photos of Donna migrant facility

Democrat Texas Representative Henry Cuellar called out the US Department of Homeland Security earlier this week in response to newly released photos of one of its migrant processing facilities that Cuellar calls "misleading."

Democrat Rep. slams DHS for 'misleading' photos of Donna migrant facility
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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Democrat Texas Representative Henry Cuellar called out the US Department of Homeland Security earlier this week in response to newly released photos of one of its migrant processing facilities that Cuellar calls "misleading," according to Border Report.

The photos in question, released on May 3, 2021 in a statement from the agency, show the DHS's Donna, Texas facility on April 30 vs the conditions the overrun facility faced in March.

The photos show a now nearly empty facility, compared to photos that showed crowds of people packed into the small spaces of the facility, sleeping nearly on top of one another.

Cuellar pointed out the misleading truth behind the photos, telling Border Report that while these photos may show a nearly empty DHS facility, it doesn't show the migrant children held in a nearby tent encampment operated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

"All they’re doing is they’re moving kids from one tent to the other tent and saying, ‘Oh, they’re not in the Border Patrol (custody),’ but they’re right next door," said Cuellar. "They’re just next door in HHS."

The DHS acknowledged in their statement that children had been transferred to the care of HHS, and both agencies had to rebuild the facility's capacities.

"DHS and HHS were left to rebuild the capacity to shelter and process the children, after having inherited a system that had been entirely dismantled by the prior administration." The statement reads. "These photos demonstrate the tremendous progress that DHS and its partners have made to safely and efficiently transfer unaccompanied children out of CBP custody and into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services."

As Vice President of the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee, Cuellar has visited the Donna compound numerous times, and told Border Report that the compound has grown in size each week.

Cuellar had also criticized Biden's address to congress in late April, in which he did not touch on the topic.

"I did notice that the president did not talk about the border. There is a border crisis, no ifs about it,” Cuellar said. "The numbers are still high. They’re doing a little better on the upflow itself but what about the inflow? That’s people coming in. Those numbers are still coming in."

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in a press briefing Tuesday placed the blame on the Trump administration for the astronomical increase in southern border immigration in recent months.

"I wanted to provide a brief update on the situation at our southern border. After four years of an immigration system rooted in destructive and chaotic policies, President Biden is taking the challenge head on and building a fair, orderly and humane immigration system, that's our objective," Psaki said.

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