Joe Biden won't talk to the press -- and he won't let his administration either! In news that ought to incense the American public, the president has ordered a media blackout on anything having to do with the immigration crisis. Everyone from border patrol to sector chiefs have been told to "deny all access" to the press, no matter how friendly they may be. That means no interviews, no photos, no facilities tours or ride-alongs without the White House's express permission. Just how desperate is the situation on the border? Enough to risk an administration-wide cover-up, it seems.
Like a lot of outlets, NBC has been annoyed by the lack of communication on the border. Finally, after being rebuffed enough times, they decided that the real story wasn't the migrant surge -- but the Biden gag order. Their reporters started sniffing around, talking to a slew of anonymous sources, and they all said the same thing: the White House is desperate to keep people in the dark about the chaos they've created. "... [L]ocal press officers are instructed to send all information queries -- even from local media -- to the press office in Washington for approval; and those responsible for cultivating data about the number of migrants in custody have been reminded not to share the information with anyone to prevent leaks, the officials said." Even designated spokespeople have to have their statements vetted.
Over at MSNBC, the anchors were openly critical of Biden, acknowledging that even at the height of the family separation controversy in 2018, the Trump administration was more than willing to let reporters in to assess the conditions for themselves. The press corps walked freely through the facilities, talked to the people who'd been detained, and took as many photos as they wanted. Now, under this cone of silence, even Biden's cheerleaders in the media can't help but wonder what he's hiding. "I mean, if [this] had been the Trump administration," Willie Geist admitted on "Morning Joe," "we'd be rightly outraged that they were blacking out information on a very important story." "It's very frustrating from a journalist's perspective," Julia Ainsley agreed. "We need to know their conditions here. We need to be able to see it firsthand."
It's doubtful she'll get her wish any time soon. Biden's team, who even took the drastic step of locking ICE's Twitter account, isn't exactly eager to talk about its catastrophic failure. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas refuses to even call the situation a "crisis." But maybe to them, Kris Kobach points out, it isn't. Maybe this flood of migrants is exactly what the far-Left president wanted. "I would make sure that... we would immediately surge the border," Biden said plainly during one Democratic debate. "We are a nation that says, 'If you want to flee, and you are fleeing oppression, you should come.'"
Well, they've come all right. In February alone -- a month after Biden signed a basket of executive orders relaxing immigration rules -- illegal border crossings jumped 28 percent. "The U.S. is on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than it has in the last 20 years," the estimates warn. With them, an incredible number of unaccompanied children -- 565 a day -- are pouring into the country. "We need to join forces and send a message that we cannot allow what's happening on the border, because it's our girls, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, the ones who are being raped," Freshman Rep. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) said. "It's our girls, the ones, the children who are being trafficked."
"The sad part about all this," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters in El Paso, "[is that] it didn't have to happen. This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration. There's no other way to claim it than a Biden border crisis." And the American people agree. The president is in deep trouble when it comes to the border, pollsters say. His approval rates on immigration are the lowest of any other issue, CNN warns: 43-49 percent.
And it's no wonder. Now, instead of building border walls, we're building detention centers. Local mayors, like Texas's Don McLaughlin, said his community is afraid to even go outside at night. "In Uvalde, Texas, we're averaging 10 to 12 car chases a week. We never saw that before," he told reporters. "This is something we're seeing every day. Our local ranchers are having their fences cut, their houses are being broken into, they're trying to steal their cars. It's just gotten crazy."
And what about the virus? While Americans who travel outside the U.S. are required to have a negative test before they're allowed back in the country (or fined for not wearing masks), the Biden administration is letting untested foreigners stream into the country in massive numbers. Hundreds are testing positive just in Texas. It's no wonder that Joe Biden has gone longer than any president in history without talking to the press. He might actually have to answer for his America-Last policy.