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Report: Biden Admin Restricts Border Patrol Personnel from Talking to Media as Crisis Grows

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The Biden administration reportedly placed an unofficial “gag order” on Border Patrol agents and sector leaders as an influx of migrants swarmed the southern border.

Four current and two former Customs and Border Protection officials were told NBC News that they were told to deny requests for media “rides” to agents, and that press officials were told to send any requests for information to the press office in Washington for approval.

Agents responsible for monitoring the number of migrants in custody were also told to avoid discharge by not sharing their information. Officials said the restrictions and others like them are often referred to as unofficial “gag orders.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that the agency was “quick to encounter more individuals on the southwestern border than in the past 20 years.

“Across the federal government, several employees are designated spokespersons for their respective agencies and public statements will be reviewed to ensure accuracy,” a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said.

“This standard and process has been followed at DHS since the Department began and throughout the bipartisan administration. Customs and Border Protection continues to provide the public with the same monthly data on the same schedule as since 2014.”

Ang unofficial the policy was reportedly passed orally, meaning some agents released videos showing the border state without permission from Washington.

A video released by the office of Rep. Henry Cuellar over the weekend showed dozens of migrants crossing the Rio Grande in a raft. The Texas Democrat has been strong in the past about his disapproval of President Joe Biden not visiting the border because it was flooded with migrants.

News organizations have also been denied access to or photos of crowded border processing facilities holding children, including the newly opened processing facility in Texas.

Data on the number of unaccompanied children in Border Patrol care has been relatively protected in the past, but handles on leaks have made it increasingly difficult to collect data.

According to an official, some access restrictions could be attributed to precautionary measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trump administration allowed several media rides last year, but Biden has not allowed a single one since he was inaugurated.

“Part of maintaining public trust is to communicate regularly and often,” a former official said.

An official in the past three administrations said the current situation is reminiscent of restrictions during the Obama administration.

“It would be more stringent under Obama than under Trump, if there was more independence for each region to speak to the media,” the official said.

Mayorkas told reporters earlier this month that he intended more transparent as secretary of DHS, including when it comes to media interactions.

“Another principle which I intend to adhere to throughout my tenure, and that is openness and transparency, and that includes the Fourth Estate,” told reporters on March 1.

This article originally appeared on The Western Journal.

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