The Biden administration is considering rebranding the facilities it is setting up to house an influx of child migrants and families as “reception centers,” according to a report.
The name would be meant to sound less harsh than “holding facilities” or “detention centers” as they are often called, three people familiar told the Washington Examiner. One official said the name would also signal that such buildings were not for keeping people in custody but to serve as a sendoff point before migrants are released into the U.S.
Migrant detention facilities drew outcry in years past that the Trump administration was keeping “kids in cages.” President Biden drew the ire of progressives when he reopened a child migrant facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas that was used under the Trump administration. The White House responded that the only other options were to turn children away or place them with unvetted sponsor families.
“These facilities are going up, but they’re being utilized differently. The direction is very clear. Release them as fast as possible,” one official told the newspaper.
CBP has started to release migrant families into the U.S., restoring the “catch and release” practice that was ended by the Trump administration.
One official said that Border Patrol is looking at putting up temporary overflow tent facilities in Yuma, Arizona and Tucson.
Earlier this week, Fox News confirmed the Biden administration is preparing to open a new tent facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, in the Del Rio sector in addition to a similar 185,000-square-foot site in Donna, Texas, that was opened at the beginning of the month.
Axios reported this week that DHS officials estimate 117,000 children will arrive at the border without a parent or guardian this year. That would be well above the next-highest total, which was just over 76,000 in 2019. In the week ending March 1, an average of 321 unaccompanied children were taken into custody. Total border apprehensions averaged 3,000 per day in January 2021.
The Biden administration has signaled it will not turn away any unaccompanied children amid the surge.
The administration has ended the construction of the wall at the southern border and has started to let in migrants who had been kept in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Additionally, it has sought to place a moratorium on deportations.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.