The Biden Administration discouraged the officials acquainted with the situation at the U.S.-Mexican border from reporting about the ongoing migrant crisis.
Two former and four current members of the Customs and Border Protection personnel told NBC News that they were prohibited from publicly showing what is happening at the border.
As for the information requests, border officials were reportedly instructed to ask for the administration’s permission before saying anything to journalists.
Workers involved in tracking the migrant flow were also allegedly told to prevent any leaks of information.
In response to the allegations, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesperson told reporters that each governmental agency has officials who are particularly designated as spokespeople to '’guarantee the accuracy of the information’‘.
The official said that such a practice had been upheld since the foundation of DHS, adding that Customs and Border Protection has worked with the same policies since 2014. Yet, there are hints that the orders against information flow are now being passed verbally, without resorting to any official policies.
A former border control employee emphasized that regular communication with the public is vital for the maintenance of public trust.
Some commentators pointed out that similar restrictions were in place during the Obama Administration, whereas officials working under Trump showed much more transparency.
The information about the situation at the southern U.S. border that managed to leak revealed that the migrant crisis is far from being under control.
Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar’s office released a video showing a large group of migrants utilizing a raft to cross the Rio Grande river.
Media outlets such as CBS have recently revealed that more than 13,000 unaccompanied children are being kept in inhospitable border facilities.
This information ran contrary to the administration’s claims about 4,200 children currently being detained at these facilities.
Moreover, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkars told reporters on Tuesday that it is likely that more migrants are expected to come to the U.S.-Mexican border than ever in the last 20 years.
A bit earlier, Mayorkars announced that his term in the department would be marked by enhanced transparency, including the one toward the media.
It remains to be seen whether Secretary’s announcement would hold promise.