U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not answer why a press release outlining the arrest of two Yemeni illegal aliens who appeared on both the FBI’s Terrorism Watch List and No-Fly List was removed from its website on Tuesday.
In the now-archived announcement, CBP explained that agents apprehended two men near Calexico, California, between the end of January and the end of March, a period during which illegal border crossings soared to record-setting numbers. The announcement detailing both incidents, including the discovery of a cellular phone sim card in one of the migrant’s shoes, however, was quietly exchanged, without explanation, with a link to a page denying access to members of the public on Tuesday. Searches for the original release on the CBP website also did not yield any recent results.
While CBP did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment, some on social media speculated that the announcement was removed due to the Biden administration’s new unofficial gag order, which directs Border Patrol agents to avoid answering questions from the media about the rising number of illegal border crossings and migrants in federal custody.
The Biden Administration is blocking its own Border Patrol’s website to hide this press release from the public.
Click the link, you now get an error message. Unbelievable. https://t.co/iaYFW5g5bl
— Matt Wolking (@MattWolking) April 6, 2021
The administration’s verbal instruction to avoid releasing information to the press paired with its refusal to allow media cameras and reporters in shelters and holding centers overwhelmed by unaccompanied minors came as President Joe Biden and his team continued to deny there is a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“There is a challenge at the border that we are managing. … The men and women of the Department of Homeland Security are working around the clock seven days a week to ensure that we do not have a crisis at the border, that we manage the challenge, as acute as the challenge is,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters in March.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki repeated the same claims just days later and labeled the influx of illegal aliens a “vital human challenge.”
“I think what Ambassador Jacobson and Secretary Mayorkas were conveying and what I’ve conveyed is it doesn’t matter what you call it, it is an enormous challenge,” Psaki said during a press briefing. “It is something that is front and center for the President.”
Update: CBP released a statement on Tuesday evening claiming that the press release was not “properly reviewed” and contained sensitive information that is not allowed on the website.
“The news release in question was not properly reviewed and contained certain disclosure and policy information related to national security that required CBP to remove it from our website,” a CBP spokesperson told The Federalist.