‘This is an insult to the purposes of a free press’: Rep Roy leads 20 House colleagues in calling on Biden to allow press access at the border

March 25, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21), joined by 20 of his House Republican colleagues, called on the Biden administration to stop stonewalling journalists amid the ongoing immigration crisis and allow the American public to see what is really going on at their southern border.

“This crisis is out of control. Indeed, it is far worse than most realize, largely because your Administration is not only mischaracterizing the crisis but also prohibiting journalists from witnessing and documenting the crisis up close,” the letter reads. “This is an insult to the purposes of a free press – as defended in our Constitution – which are to inform the public and hold those in power accountable.”

Cosigners to the letter include Reps.: Tom McClintock (CA-04), Liz Cheney (WY-AL), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Randy K. Weber (TX-14), Ted Budd (NC-13), Ann Wagner (MI-02), Gregory Steube (FL-17), Jody Hice (GA-10), Bill Posey (FL-08), Jake LaTurner (KS-02), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ashley Hinson (IA-01), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Lisa McClain (MI-10), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA-14), James R. Baird (IN-04), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Brian Babin (TX-36), and Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (GA-01).

“Seeing as your Administration refuses to publicly acknowledge the crisis in contradiction to demonstrable facts, denying reporters access can only be seen as a craven effort to keep the public from fully realizing the extent to which this administration’s policies have created chaos, lawlessness and human suffering along our southern border,” the letter adds.

The letter follows extensive pushback from members of the media about the Biden administration’s lack of transparency. For example, on Tuesday, the Society of Professional Journalists called on the administration to lift its access restrictions at the border, writing that “it is crucial that journalists be allowed unfettered access to report to the public what is occurring there."

 

Full text of the letter is available at the link here and below:

 

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

President Biden,

We write today to inquire about reports indicating that your Administration is obstructing the right to freedom of the press as enumerated in the First Amendment.

The southern border is clearly in crisis, and your Administration appears not only to disseminate myths to the American people about the dire situation, but is also actively engaging in behavior that is preventing transparency and accountability to the American people you were elected to serve.

It has been reported that 5,000 unaccompanied alien children (UACs) are being held in a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) tent holding facility in south Texas and other border stations. Reportedly, and surpassing the 72-hour statutory limit, UACs are spending an average of 136 hours in CBP custody due to CBP resources being spread too thin. Further, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is also currently housing roughly 11,000 UACs in emergency housing facilities and shelters.

There are more than 16,000 UACs in government custody and your Administration is not only being dishonest about the situation but actively misleading the American people and blocking access to transparency. For example, your Press Secretary repeated this week that "children, presenting at our border, who are fleeing violence, who are fleeing prosecution, who are fleeing terrible situations is not a crisis.” This is despite your Administration's opening of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) facility in Midland, Texas to house young migrants.

This crisis is out of control. Indeed, it is far worse than most realize, largely because your Administration is not only mischaracterizing the crisis but also prohibiting journalists from witnessing and documenting the crisis up close. This is an insult to the purposes of a free press – as defended in our Constitution – which are to inform the public and hold those in power accountable.

Seeing as your Administration refuses to publicly acknowledge the crisis in contradiction to demonstrable facts, denying reporters access can only be seen as a craven effort to keep the public from fully realizing the extent to which this administration’s policies have created chaos, lawlessness and human suffering along our southern border.

We request that your Administration immediately stop blocking media access to current border operations, and to be straightforward with the American people about what is truly happening at our southern border.

 

Sincerely,

Chip Roy

Member of Congress

 

Tom McClintock

Member of Congress

 

Liz Cheney

Member of Congress

 

Andy Biggs

Member of Congress

 

Glenn Grothman

Member of Congress

 

Randy K. Weber

Member of Congress

 

Ted Budd

Member of Congress

 

Ann Wagner

Member of Congress

 

W. Gregory Steube

Member of Congress

 

Jody Hice

Member of Congress

 

Bill Posey

Member of Congress

 

Jake LaTurner

Member of Congress

 

Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.

Member of Congress

 

Ashley Hinson

Member of Congress

 

Tracey Mann

Member of Congress

 

Lisa McClain

Member of Congress

 

Marjorie Taylor Greene

Member of Congress

 

James R. Baird

Member of Congress

 

Dan Bishop

Member of Congress

 

Madison Cawthorn

Member of Congress

 

Brian Babin, D.D.S.

Member of Congress

 

Earl L. "Buddy" Carter

Member of Congress

 

 

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