"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about the Biden administration's gag order on allowing reporters inside Border Patrol facilities where unaccompanied minors are being housed. Mayorkas offered a number of reasons for the policy, but Wallace slammed them, calling them "an excuse."
"Why has the Biden administration refused to allow reporters to see for themselves and to record what the conditions are in which these minors are being housed?" Wallace asked. "Why, in fact, did you when you went to the border on Friday and led a congressional delegation, why did you refuse to allow reporters to see the conditions in which these minors are being held?"
Mayorkas stated Border Patrol is working under "crowded conditions" during a pandemic "where hundreds of vulnerable migrant children are located."
Instead of focusing on the transparency President Joe Biden promised on his second day in office, Mayorkas said DHS is "working on providing footage" of what's taking place inside the facilities. The secretary said this would provide Americans an idea of what's taking place.
"I would encourage you and other reporters to see the facilities under the control of the Health and Human Services Department, where those children are sheltered and where they belong and where we are moving them as quickly as possible," Mayorkas said.
Wallace hit back at Mayorkas, saying there are "safe conditions" in which a reporter and camera crew could come in to document what's taking place.
"It seems to me to say 'it's impossible to do because of COVID' sounds like an excuse," the Fox News host replied.
"Chris, we're working on providing access so that individuals will be able to see what the conditions in a Border Patrol station are like," the secretary replied. "But, first thing's first, we are in the midst of a pandemic and we are focused on operations and executing on our plans. That's our highest priority. But we are providing for that access and, certainly, reporters can see the Department of Health and Human Services facilities in which children are sheltered for a longer period of time."
The job of the press is to act as a government watchdog. When reporters don't have access to these facilities and the administration wants to simply hand over footage of what they deem necessary, a dangerous can and will be set. This move means the Biden administration can pick and choose what the American people see and it's a way for them to downplay the crisis that's taking place. If cameras and reporters aren't allowed into the facilities, they can tell the American people whatever they believe we want to hear.
Having a media blackout goes against everything America stands for. Everything.