Abbott accuses Biden admin of 'not being transparent' about health of unaccompanied minors at border
Texas governor slams Biden administration's lack of transparency on 'Hannity'
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demanded Wednesday that the Biden administration allow state and local authorities access to unaccompanied migrant children in federal facilities to monitor COVID transmission and investigate human trafficking concerns.
Abbott told "Hannity" on Wednesday that his request to access critical data pertaining to unaccompanied monirs was denied despite the White House's repeated pledge of "transparency."
"The Biden administration is not being transparent with either the governor of Texas or the Texas Department of State Health Services," the Republican said. "We need to know what the health situation of these kids are. We need to know if they've been exposed to variants of COVID."
The governor added that the administration has not only denied access to data pertaining to the health of migrants in his state, but has also refused to share information that will aide law enforcement in arresting and prosecuting migrants that "are still involved with coyotes and smugglers."
"Our law enforcement ... they need to do their job," Abbott said. "Part of their job is making sure they track down and prosecute anybody involved in smuggling. Once they get over to Texas, they are still involved with coyotes and smugglers. We do have the ability to put them behind bars ... [but] the Biden administration is not letting us gain access to that information so that we can arrest and prosecute those that are assisting this immigration process."
On Tuesday, Abbott publically called on Biden to allow the state to speak with migrants in federal facilities as part of Operation Lone Star, a state anti-human and drug trafficking initiative launched this month.
"We have sought access to these shelters, and we've been denied access to those shelters, whether it be involving health care purposes or talking to these children about human trafficking," Abbott said.
"You got some young children who have been trafficked across Mexico and maybe some other countries and who knows what horrific things may have happened to them ... we want to be involved and learn information so we can crack down on this human trafficking mission," he explained.
Abbott said the crisis at the border should be "exposed for what it is" and blamed Biden for continuing to invite "in young children with the promise of them being able to stay here.
"These children make a very dangerous treks where they have to encounter cartels, drug dealers, gang members, MS-13 gang members, and there could be horrific things happening to them. We know the legacy of human trafficking that happens to these children," Abbott said. "It must be stopped."
Migrant children have been arriving at the southern borderfaster than they can be processed and transferred to sponsor homes, while the Biden administration has repeatedly denied that there is a "crisis" at the border, a senior Customs and Border Protection official recently told Fox News.
"Americans need to know this," Abbott warned. "This is just the very beginning of what's going to be a massive expansion of the number of people coming across the board. It will grow tenfold and a hundredfold, especially because of the way the Biden administration has handled this."