1. Various, members of Congress tour border facility
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Tyler Moran, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration:
"Secretary Mayorkas (Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas) has said border patrol stations are no place for a child, and so what we're trying to do is as quickly as possible, move them from border patrol into HHS custody."
3. Various, border facility
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Tyler Moran, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration:
"So right now we're working to expand the number of licensed beds, which is the long term solution. I will just say, though, we are taking a very comprehensive approach, opening up new beds, providing space for children. We're trying to address the root causes of why children are coming here, violence, poverty to major hurricanes. And so part of the president's plan is bringing aid to the region to address the reasons why people are coming."
A delegation of White House officials and members of Congress is at the southern border to tour a facility being used to house children during an increase in migration.
The visit to a facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, comes as the Biden administration faces a growing humanitarian and political challenge at the U.S.-Mexico border that threatens to overshadow its ambitious legislative agenda. The White House is limiting media access on Wednesday's tour, keeping it to just one TV camera crew.
The Biden administration has in recent weeks moved to open more than 10,000 new beds across the Southwest in convention centers and former oilfield camps.
It notified Congress on Wednesday that it will open a new 3,000-person facility in San Antonio and a 1,400-person site at the San Diego convention center. HHS is also opening a second site in Carrizo Springs and exploring housing teenagers at military bases in San Antonio and El Paso, Texas.
Questions have grown about a lack of transparency at the border as the administration has stymied most efforts by outsiders to see and document the conditions.
A Democratic lawmaker released photos earlier this week to show conditions at the facility and to display the extreme challenges that border agents face in watching so many children, sometimes for a week or longer despite the Border Patrol's three-day limit on detaining minors.