- A national shortage of baby formula has led to empty shelves and panicked parents.
- Texas Governor Greg Abbott has accused the Biden administration of putting undocumented immigrants before Americans.
- It is unclear how much formula has been sent to detention facilities.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott criticized President Joe Biden on Thursday, accusing him of sending baby formula to undocumented immigrants at the border as American parents across the country face dire shortages.
“Children are our most vulnerable and 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 facing the nightmare of a nationwide baby formula shortage.”
“While mothers and fathers stare in terror at empty grocery store shelves, the Biden Administration is pleased to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants crossing our southern border,” he continued.
The baby formula shortage in the US started months ago, but it got even worse in April. At 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.
An Abbott representative did not immediately respond to Insider questions about whether it proposes holding migrants’ formula at detention facilities in Texas or how such supplies should be distributed.
“CBP takes seriously its legal responsibility to ensure the safety of those in our custody. Ensuring that migrants, including children and infants, in our custody have their basic needs met is in line with this Administration’s commitment to ensuring a safe, orderly and humane process at our border,” a CBP spokesperson said in a statement to Insider, adding that the agency “complies with all applicable regulations for the purchase of products used at CBP facilities.”
Abbott’s statement came after Rep. Kat Cammack said in a video posted on Facebook that “pallets of baby formula” had been shipped to detention facilities at the border.
“Meanwhile, in our own home district, we can’t find baby formula,” the Florida Republican said.
—Kat Cammack (@Kat_Cammack) May 11, 2022
Cammack also shared a Photo from a shelf full of formula that she says was taken from Ursula’s processing center in McAllen, Texas, and sent to her by a concerned border patrol agent.
“He’s been a border patrol agent for 30 years and he’s never seen anything like it. He’s a grandfather and he says his own kids can’t get baby formula,” he said, adding that the agent told him he couldn’t believe a recent shipment of formula arrived.
Cammack said it’s “not the kids’ fault at all” but instead is “another example of America’s latest agenda that the Biden administration continues to perpetuate.”
It’s unclear when or how much infant formula was provided to detention facilities, or how the amount compares to current national shortages.
The White House did not immediately respond to Insider requests for comment.