Nehl’s office declined to answer a question about whether the lawmaker wanted the administration to stop sending baby formula to the detention center. Instead, his office issued a short statement, calling the Biden administration’s decision to send formula to detention centers “unconscionable.”
“While parents struggle to find baby formula amid a nationwide shortage coupled with inflation, it is unconscionable that the Biden Administration is spending taxpayer dollars to ship baby formula pallets to people who are entering this country illegally,” the statement says. “President Biden is once again proving that he prioritizes illegal immigrants over the American people he swore to protect. American resources should be sent to Americans first.”
It was a theme echoed by Republican lawmakers across the country.
“This is wrong and needs to be stopped,” Gary Black, Georgia’s agriculture commissioner and a candidate for the US Senate tweeted.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a joint statement with the Border Patrol Union.
“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 said.
Customs and Border Protection, however, said providing food and safety to immigrants, including infants, was a legal responsibility. The McAllen facility alone has a capacity of 1,200 people, including infants.
CBP did not respond to questions relating to the picture released by Cammack, but an agency spokesperson said it “takes seriously its legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of individuals in our custody.”
“Ensuring migrants, including children and infants, in our custody have their basic needs met is in line with this Administration’s commitment to ensuring safe, orderly, and humane processes at our border,” the spokesperson said. “CBP complies with all applicable regulations for the purchase of products used in CBP facilities.”
Despite CBP being required to feed the infants at its facilities, Republican lawmakers have continued to push the issue on social media and in the halls of Congress.