August 3, 2021

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Biden admin accused of using COVID to keep media out of border facilities – Fox News

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Reporter Julio Rosas told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that he was denied access to a facility of unaccompanied minors in Texas after initially getting the “green light” from Rep. Chip Roy’s office, arguing that the Biden administration is “using COVID-19 as a pretext” to block media access.

“I was supposed to go visit the Carrizo Springs facility for unaccompanied minors and it was all set up through Congressman Roy’s office and I was given the green light,” said the TownHall.com senior writer, adding that when he arrived, he and his team were “starting to be processed to be let in.”  

“We had our temperature checked, we had a medical-grade face mask be issued to us and we were just waiting to get our COVID test because that’s what the administration has been using as a pretext to bar press because of COVID restrictions,” Rosas continued.

“But then they found out we were members of the press and we were immediately denied and we were separated from Roy’s party and we had to leave.”

He noted that while the COVID-19 is being used as “a pretext to keep press out,” members of Congress and their staff were “still able to tour the facility.”

Rosas joined other members of the media, including from left-wing CNN, in calling out the Biden administration for denying them access to what many believe to be a crisis of the administration’s own doing.

CNN’s Pamela Brown examined the migrant surge and overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities in a segment over the weekend, telling viewers that “as the situation at the US-Mexico border gets worse, the media is being kept from it.”

TV commentator Tom Borelli noted the network’s apparent shift in tone on Twitter, writing Sunday, “So @JoeBiden border crisis is so bad even CNN is criticizing his effort to hide the crisis from the media.”

The Biden administration came under renewed fire over the weekend for denying access to the med to observe Customs and Border Protection operations at the southern border.

TEXAS GOV. ABBOT REPORTS COVID OUTBREAK, NO ‘USEABLE RUNNING WATER’ AT MIGRANT HOLDING FACILITY

Award-winning photojournalist John Moore took to Twitter to lament the lack of transparency as a surge of migrants trying to enter the country has put a strain on resources.

“I respectfully ask US Customs and Border Protection to stop blocking media access to their border operations,” Moore tweeted Friday. “I have photographed CBP under Bush, Obama and Trump but now – zero access is granted to media. These long lens images taken from the Mexican side.”

On Monday, Rosas noted that in October he was able to participate in a ride-along at the border with then acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.

“And so even in the age of COVID, ride-alongs with Border Patrol is still possible and yet that’s not being allowed right now,” Rosas said.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is encountering an average of 565 child migrants per day, up from 313 last month. In 2019, border agents encountered 76,020 unaccompanied children for an average of just over 208 per day. While families and single adults can still be expelled under Tile 42, a Trump-era coronavirus health order, no children will be expelled from the U.S.

“It’s pretty obvious why the administration doesn’t want members of the press to document for themselves what’s happening in these facilities and elsewhere along the border,” Rosas said. “It’s just simply because this is a crisis and what makes it worse is that this is a self-inflicted crisis.”

“This didn’t need to happen, but because of the open border rhetoric and policies that we’ve seen from this administration it has incentivized this massive surge,” he continued. 

Biden in his first two months in office has aimed to reverse a number of Trump-era immigration policies. He started rolling back the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “remain in Mexico” policy, ended a number of asylum policies that the Biden administration claims have closed to the border to asylum-seekers, and more. 

The thousands of migrant children arriving at the border are being placed in various facilities. While the Biden administration has maintained a message that now is “not the time” to come to the U.S. border, the White House still insists the overwhelming surge is not a “crisis.”

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A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Fox News’ Morgan Phillips, Yael Halon and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.

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