Saturday, May 14, 2022

Republicans Wrongly Tie Biden Immigration Policies to Baby Formula Shortage



[Note:  The “usual pedo grifters,” who were unidentified, appeared to be a reference to a particularly outlandish QAnon conspiracy theory that an international ring of child sex traffickers is being operated by Democratic leaders.]





The mid-term elections are just around the bend.  Expect immigrants to be blamed for everything not going well in the nation.  The latest:  immigrants and the baby formula shortage.

In a joint statement issued earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the National Border Patrol Council accused President Biden of turning "a blind eye to parents across American who are facing a nationwide baby formula shortage."  "While mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery store shelves in a panic, the Biden Administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our southern border," they wrote.

Fox News reports on the growing number of Republican lawmakers and officials pushing the Biden administration on the extent to which undocumented immigrants in detention are bring provided baby formula when the nation has a shortage.  Fox News explains that the U.S. government is legally obligated to care for and feed those in its custody and care, including immigrant children.  That includes providing formula to infant children, and it is a standard requirement for government facilities to offer that to migrants -- including during the Trump administration. 

Still, some Republicans are linking the border crisis to the issues with formula supply. In a letter to Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security, Representative. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) noted that, during the 2019 "border crisis," the Border Patrol spent $230 million on "snacks, diapers and baby formula."

Linda Qui for the New York Times performed a fact check on the Republicans' charge: 

"Republican lawmakers have misleadingly suggested that the Biden administration is sending baby formula to undocumented immigrants at the expense of American families amid a national shortage. . . . . 

But it is inaccurate to suggest that President Biden is choosing to prioritize the needs of immigrant children over those of American children. Providing food — like formula — and water to migrant children detained at the border is required by a lawsuit settlement, and the Trump administration also adhered to that requirement. And it is unlikely that the amount of formula in stock at detention facilities would meaningfully ease the shortage."

The White House has responded that the Flores settlement, which covers the conditions of detention of immigrant children, and morality requires providing formula to migrant infants.



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