Biden and Harris Make No Commitment to Visit Donna Migrant Camp After Whistleblower Leak

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U.S. President Joe Biden (R) and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris arrived at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, on March 19, 2021. While Biden and Harris were busy in Atlanta, Georgia, to tour the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and to meet with Georgia Asian American leaders, photos of packed cells of the Donna migrant camp were leaked to Project Veritas. Neither member of the Executive Branch has committed to visiting the southern border amid the migrant crisis.

Three sets of images emerged on March 22 of cramped and crowded conditions inside a temporary processing facility to house migrants attempting to enter the U.S. in Donna, Texas under new immigration rules set by the Biden administration. 

 

The story appears to have first been broken by investigative journalist team Project Veritas, who said an unnamed whistleblower, “Reached out to Project Veritas and explained the conditions that these migrants face on a regular basis while detained at this facility.” The source provided photographs of the facilities. 

Images inside the Donna migrant camp where those seeking entry to the United States are being held in close quarters, sleeping on the floor in tinfoil covered bags, released by a whistleblower to Project Veritas.
Images inside the Donna migrant camp where those seeking entry to the United States are being held in close quarters, sleeping on the floor in tinfoil covered bags, released by a whistleblower to Project Veritas. (Image: Project Veritas)

The whistleblower said the photos were recent, and the facility consisted of eight pods divided into eight cells,  “At any given moment there are an average of 3,000 people in custody here.”

Images showing migrants sleeping on the floor inside the Donna immigration facility in Texas where migrants are being held in close quarters. Positive COVID-19 cases, as well as sexual and physical assaults, were reported by whistleblowers.
Images showing migrants sleeping on the floor inside the Donna immigration facility in Texas where migrants are being held in close quarters. Positive COVID-19 cases, as well as sexual and physical assaults, were reported by whistleblowers. (Image: Project Veritas)

“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.”

Images showing migrants in close quarters at the temporary Donna immigration facility in Texas. Positive COVID-19 cases, as well as sexual and physical assaults, were reported by whistleblowers.
Images showing migrants in close quarters at the temporary Donna immigration facility in Texas. Positive COVID-19 cases, as well as sexual and physical assaults, were reported by whistleblowers. (Image: Rep. Henry Cuellar via an Axios handout)

Later in the day, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) provided a handout of photos inside the facility to Axios, confirming the veracity of the Project Veritas report. Cuellar described the facilities as “terrible conditions for the children.”

Similarly, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released their own series of photos and videos of the facility as well. 

Images showing migrants in close quarters at the temporary Donna immigration facility in Texas. Positive COVID-19 cases, as well as sexual and physical assaults, were reported by whistleblowers.
Images showing migrants in close quarters at the temporary Donna immigration facility in Texas. Positive COVID-19 cases, as well as sexual and physical assaults, were reported by whistleblowers. (Image: Rep. Henry Cuellar via an Axios handout)

Donna migrant camp built day before Biden-Harris Inauguration

On Jan. 20, which was Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s Inauguration Day, Rio Grande Valley, Texas television station KRGV ran a segment on the construction of the Donna facility. At the time, CBP said the facility would be completed in 30 days. 

KRGV published a statement by the federal agency, “CBP is moving forward with plans for the mobilization of soft-side facilities (SSF) in Donna, Texas. A lease with the city of Donna was awarded on January 15, 2021 and the notice to proceed was signed on January 19, 2021. Construction of the SSF should be completed in approximately 30 days.”

“Since April, CBP has seen a steady increase of UACs (Unaccompanied Alien Children) from the Western Hemisphere due to the worsening economic conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, CBP is constructing temporary soft-side facilities in Donna, approximately 20 miles from the RGV CPC, to ensure existing processing capacity remains.”

In a number of Executive Orders issued by Biden on Jan. 20, the new administration unwound a series of illegal immigration EOs issued by the Trump administration. 

A playpen for children of illegal migrants at the Donna immigration facility in Texas.
A playpen for children of illegal migrants at the Donna immigration facility in Texas. (Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Concerns about the health and safety of the influx of migrants on the Southern border emerged on March 19 when the National Sheriffs Association issued a Border Security Resolution warning, “There is a compelling public safety interest in securing our border. The trafficking of drugs and humans through our southern border is an undeniable reality and clearly degrades public safety in border counties.” 

“Our deputies must now carry life saving NARCAN on their utility belts, because we are so often first on the scene and well trained in the use of the life saving medicine. The trafficking of humans results in higher crime in border communities and is facilitated by the drug cartels as another source of revenue.”

The Association also warned of an exceedingly high SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among the migrants, “Estimates are that between 5 and 50% of the persons crossing without documentation are COVID positive. In any other construct, infection rates that high would be cause for alarm by public health officials.”

The Sheriffs also said they were concerned because “The lack of security on the border serves as an incentive for undocumented immigration,” adding, “This is not a harmless activity. Border Sheriffs recover hundreds of bodies a year in the remote areas of their counties. These are the result of migrant deaths at the hands of bandits or coyotes, or due to the harsh environmental conditions in the southwest.”

A March 22 study by the Center for Immigration Studies meanwhile found that $4.38 billion in stimulus checks issued by the Biden administration could go to illegal immigrants. 

Meanwhile, a March 22 report by Fox News citing statistics provided by CBP officials revealed cartels were making more than $14 million per day in the business of trafficking migrants across the border, “A lot of these vulnerable populations use their life savings. Some are essentially indentured servants and they’re working off this debt for a long period of time,” said former Tucson Border Patrol Chief Roy Villareal in a Fox News interview. 

“In other cases, some of these migrants are asked to transport narcotics or some form of crime to work off a different part of their debt.”

When asked whether he would visit the border after the leaked images of the Donna facility emerged, President Biden said “At some point I will, yes,” to reporters outside the White House on March 22, adding “I know what’s going on in those facilities.” 

Kamala Harris started laughing and replied “Not today!” when asked by reporters at Jacksonville International Airport the same day if she had plans to visit the border facilities, adding, “But I have before and I’m sure I will again.”

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