NEWS & ANALYSIS

US Government Restricting Media From Covering Border Crisis


Despite pretending to be committed to “transparency,” the Biden administration is essentially censoring and preventing news outlets from doing their job: objectively covering what goes on in the country. 

While tens of thousands of illegal immigrants cross the southern border, journalists traveling to cover the crisis have faced heightened restrictions not seen under prior presidential administrations, republican or democrat. 

During a ride-along last week in Texas, a New York Post reporter witnessed Border Patrol agents investigate a home “thought to be used as a stash house for stolen cars and migrants.” While this would have made for a riveting news piece, the agents explicitly told the Post not to take any photographs. 

Deputies from the Hidalgo County Constable’s Office later explained that the strict policy was initiated just last month, and that taking photos and videos of Border Patrol operations had never been a problem before. 

“It’s just orders they have also, because I guess they don’t want to admit it’s a crisis going on” one deputy said. 

And, when a Post reporter tried to visit a detention facility in Donna, Texas on Saturday, a security guard ordered them to leave. The reporter then walked onto a nearby property – neither of which were marked with signs stating the area was off-limits – the same security guard threatened to call law enforcement. 

“They don’t want anything leaking out,” the Hidalgo County Constable’s Office deputy said. “But it is already.” 

Getty Images photographer John Moore also tweeted that the media has been granted “zero access” to the crisis at the border in recent weeks, noting that conditions under Biden are more restrictive than under the previous 3 administrations. 

“The lack of information and collaboration from the Border Patrol and Department of Homeland Security has also created a vacuum of sorts that traditionally biased sources are filling with information that serves only their political interests,” Dan Shelley, executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said in a letter to Mayorkas. 

“This dynamic is not conducive to efforts by journalists to communicate unbiased information to the public nor is it constructive to the heated dialogue of elected officials both locally and nationally.” 

“At a time when the southern border of the United States is undergoing a historic surge of migrants, it is more important than ever that journalists be allowed the necessary access to report accurately and independently on the Border Patrol’s response to the increased arrival of migrants and the wellbeing of those housed in Border Patrol facilities,” Shelley added. 

Indeed, it is critical for the media to have undeniable and unrestricted access to the border, migrant housing facilities and information about the crisis so they can relay necessary information to the public. 

If not, could we head towards censorship like exists in China?