White House press secretary Jen Psaki denied on Tuesday that the Biden administration was placing unaccompanied migrant children “in cages” after the administration reopened several detention centers closed since 2019.
The Biden administration faces an increase in the number of migrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border, including large numbers of unaccompanied minors. In response, the administration reopened a tent in Carrizo Springs, Texas, and a shelter in Miami, Florida, to accommodate migrant children.
However, the Texas detention center is the same facility where Democratic politicians accused the Trump administration of putting “children in cages” in a similar wave of border crossings.
“These are not children kept in cages,” Psaki told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s an installation that has been opened and will follow the same standards as the others [Health and Human Services] facilities. “
Psaki added: “We are in a situation where we are not going to deport unaccompanied minors at the border… We need to find safe places, according to COVID protocols, for children, where they can access education. , health and mental services, in accordance with their best interests. “
Psaki said the facilities will be operated according to guidelines to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
The reopening of shelters for migrant children comes after President Biden called for the closure of border detention centers during his campaign.
“Shut them down,” Biden told an audience in South Carolina in August when asked how to improve conditions in border detention centers. “By the way, we don’t need it.”