- A national shortage of baby formula has led to empty shelves and panicked parents.
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott accused the Biden administration of putting undocumented migrants before Americans.
- It’s unclear how much formula has been sent to holding facilities.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott criticized President Joe Biden on Thursday and accused him of sending baby formula to undocumented migrants at the border as American parents nationwide face a severe shortage.
“Children are our most vulnerable, precious Texans and deserve to be put first,” the Republican said in a joint statement with Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council. “Yet, President Biden has turned a blind eye to parents across America who are facing the nightmare of 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,” it continued.
Shortages of baby formula in the US began months ago but got even worse in April. By the end of the month, 40% of infant formula products nationwide were out of stock, and in some states it was more than 50%. The White House on Thursday announced plans to address the shortage.
A representative for Abbott did not immediately respond to Insider’s questions about if he is proposing formula be withheld from migrants at holding facilities in Texas or how such supplies should be distributed.
“CBP 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,” a CBP spokesperson said in a statement to Insider, adding the agency “complies with all applicable regulations for the purchase of products used in CBP facilities.”
Abbott’s statement came after Rep. Kat Cammack said in a video posted to Facebook that “pallets of baby formula” had been shipped to holding facilities at the border.
“Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula,” the Florida Republican said.
—Kat Cammack (@Kat_Cammack) May 11, 2022
Cammack also shared a photo of a shelf stocked with formula that she said was taken at the Ursula processing center in McAllen, Texas, and sent to her from a concerned border patrol agent.
“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,” she said, adding that the agent told her he couldn’t believe a recent formula shipment came in.
Cammack said “it is not the children’s fault at all” but that it is “another example of the America last agenda that the Biden administration continues to perpetuate.”
It’s unclear when or how much infant formula has been provided to holding facilities, or how the quantity compares to the current national shortage.
The White House did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.