“I respectfully ask the White House to stop the media border ban,” Getty Images special correspondent John Moore tweeted on Thursday, accompanying his text with multiple photos he took of migrants near the southern border.
Moore revealed that local law enforcement agents removed him from the area and prevented further pictures from being taken. According to Moore, the officers said they were doing so at the request of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In a follow-up tweet, Moore claimed “most border areas near the Rio Grande” are “completely off limits to media,” and officials are making it particularly difficult to capture and release images from inside currently overrun detention facilities.
In tweets earlier in the week blasting the Biden administration’s “zero access granted” strategy with the media, Moore, an award-winning photojournalist who has covered the southern border for years, revealed the contrast in press freedom afforded by previous administrations to that allowed by the current one.
“I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama and Trump, but now – zero access is granted to media,” he tweeted.
The issue of transparency at the border, which is seeing a dramatic increase in migrant crossings, especially by unaccompanied minors, has become an especially hot button in recent weeks, as reports detail an out-of-control system. These have included whistleblower images released by Project Veritas from a Texas detention facility that seem to show minors being required to sleep on the floor covered only by foil emergency blankets, with thin sheets of plastic separating them from each other for coronavirus purposes.
The report also included allegations of physical abuse at the site, as well as migrants testing positive for Covid-19, based on information from an anonymous source.
“They [illegal immigrants] are separated by age or physical size depending on room. Fifty were Covid positive in these cells over the last few days. There have been multiple sexual assaults, normal assaults and daily medical emergencies,” they said.
Biden administration officials have insisted for weeks that the border situation does not amount to a “crisis,” even as they scramble to find housing for thousands of unaccompanied minors, some of whom are now being sent to Texas military facilities.
Vice President Kamala Harris has been put in charge of efforts to stabilize the border. The VP is set to “implement a long-term strategy that gets at the root causes of migration” and create strategic partnerships with countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala to address the issue at hand.
President Joe Biden has blamed what he now describes as a “surge” at the border on the previous administration, though he has not directly addressed the issue of the lack of transparency subscribed to his administration compared to previous administrations.
“This new surge we’re dealing with now started with the last administration, but it’s our responsibility to deal with it humanely and to stop what’s happening,” Biden said at the White House this week.
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