During President Biden’s first formal press conference after 64 days, 2 days away from doubling the previous record of 33 days, it became obvious why he had waited this long to hold a press conference as he struggled to answer questions, including a question on transparency of the treatment of migrant children at border facilities.
“How soon will journalists be able to have access to the facilities?” A reporter asked. “We’ve obviously been allowed to be inside one, but we haven’t seen the facilities in which children are packed together to really give the American people the chance to see that. Will you commit to transparency on this issue?”
“I will commit to transparency as soon as I’m in a position to implement what we’re doing right now,” Biden said, before explaining that he has not visited the border yet because he did not want to get in the way.
Biden’s statement did not explain what his administration is “doing right now” that he is currently not “in a position to implement,” or what would change that would allow him to be in that position.
“Just to be clear, how soon will that be?” The reporter asked Biden.
“I don’t know, to be clear,” Biden responded, refusing to be transparent about when his administration would be transparent.
Biden REFUSES to say when he'll be transparent about the border crisis:
"I will commit to transparency as soon as I'm in a position to implement what we're doing right now."
Reporter: "How soon will that be?"
Biden: "I don't know, to be clear." pic.twitter.com/6RyP6Xa1at
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) March 25, 2021
As the border has been overwhelmed with illegal immigration, exceeding six times the Obama administration’s “crisis level,” journalists have been mostly unable to access border facilities, and the Biden administration has restricted Border Patrol agents from sharing information with the media. Journalists have largely had to rely on leaked documents and information from Border officials that speak under the condition of anonymity so they don’t get caught for violating Biden’s gag order.
The facilities housing children have been described by the New York Times as “akin to jails,” and the children are being held in those facilities for an average of 136 hours, nearly double the legal limit of 72 hours.
Axios reported, “An internal Department of Homeland Security document leaked to Axios shows that 823 unaccompanied migrant children have been held in border patrol custody for over 10 days — more than a fourfold increase over the past week. The maximum amount of time a child is legally supposed to be held in border patrol custody is 72 hours. But as of Saturday, 3,314 unaccompanied children had been in custody longer, with 2,226 for more than five days and 823 for more than 10 days.”