The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released images of the Donna detention facility in Mission, Texas—and the images are quite surprising.
The facility appears to be nearly empty despite it once holding more than 5,000 migrants—a figure well above its 250 pandemic capacity.
So, what happened? How did one of Custom and Border Protection’s largest facilities nearly empty out in a matter of weeks when it served as “ground-zero” for illegal migration at the southern border for months?
Well, according to the White House, most of these migrants have been transferred to Health and Human Services (HHS) who are allegedly better suited to handle children and have new facilities to accommodate the recent migration surges.
While that explanation is certainly plausible, it may only be a half truth.
The Biden administration’s “catch and release policy” may be the real reason why numbers are declining at the Donna detention facility.
In February, the administration reimplemented the policy of releasing newly-apprehended migrants into U.S. cities in response to coronavirus concerns at detention facilities as well as in response to the rising numbers of apprehended migrants. Since President Biden took office, more than 42,000 migrants have been released into the interior of the country without being placed in detention.
It has also been documented that, in the same region as the Donna facility, the administration has avoided detaining migrants and has been releasing them with no assigned court dates after they have entered the country unlawfully. This may explain why I recently saw migrants boarding flights in McAllen, Texas, with envelopes reading: “Please help me. I do not speak English. What plane do I need to take?”
Combined with suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)—which has allowed thousands to enter into the country (not in detention) to wait for their asylum court hearing date rather than in Northern Mexico—it’s certainly possible that migrant totals at this facility have declined in recent weeks simply because the administration has not been apprehending individuals who enter the country unlawfully and are thereby not being placed in this facility anymore.
Even the supposed transfer of migrants to HHS is troubling and not a bona fide solution to the Biden Border Crisis. At these facilities, an individual within the country can sponsor a migrant who has entered the country illegally even though the sponsor could also be in the country illegally. In some cases, the Biden administration is even paying travel expenses—at U.S. taxpayer costs— for individuals (again, who may be here unlawfully already) to pick up an unaccompanied migrant child at these facilities.
These practices are only facilitating more illegal immigration and will not stop the surges at our southern border.
The newly released pictures of the Donna Facility may look like the Biden administration has made strides in addressing its border crisis. But in reality, they’re just a Potemkin village.
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