Glenn Kessler, chief writer for the Washington Post’s Fact Checker department, said Republican U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack’s baby formula sent to an illegal immigrant detention facility is “ridiculous faux outrage.”
“The shortage of baby formula is a serious issue that the administration is seeking to address,” Kessler noted in Thursday analysis for the Post. “But at the same time, the administration cannot be faulted for following the law and providing baby formula to undocumented immigrants.”
Kessler gave Cammack’s claim “Four Pinocchios.”
What’s the background?
Cammack, a Florida lawmaker elected in 2020, indicated in a pair of Facebook videos Wednesday that a Border Patrol agent at the Ursula facility in McAllen, Texas, sent her photos showing pallets of baby formula and other food for infants that had been delivered to the detention center.
“They are sending pallets — pallets — of baby formula to the border,” Cammack said. “Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula.”
Cammack added in her first video that “we literally are struggling to find baby formula around the country; moms are struggling, going from store to store to store and then the stores are actually capping the amount of baby formula they will sell them.”
The congresswoman called it “unconscionable” and said the administration of President Joe Biden is responsible for the “open border policy” that is “crushing the middle class.”
“They hate everything about [former President] Donald Trump so much … they’re willing to hurt their own citizens,” Cammack added, saying it’s “absolutely outrageous.”
Cammack posted a second video later Wednesday and was no less outraged, saying the Border Patrol agent told her, “Kat, you would not believe the shipment I just brought in.”
She went on to say that “he has been a Border Patrol agent for 30 years, and he has never seen anything quite like this. He is a grandfather, and he is saying that his own children can’t get … baby formula.”
What else did the WaPo Fact Checker have to say?
Kessler added in his piece that a 1997 federal ruling requires the government to provide illegal immigrant children “facilities that are safe and sanitary [with] access to toilets and sinks, drinking water and food as appropriate …” and that the later Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act says that “food must be appropriate for at-risk detainees’ age and capabilities (such as formula and baby food).”
A Homeland Security spokesman told the Post that U.S. Customs and Border Protection “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. CBP complies with all applicable regulations for the purchase of products used in CBP facilities.”