Border detention center looks stocked with baby formula despite shortage

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As American families deal with a shortage of baby formula across the US, a Florida Republican lawmaker has released images of dozens of boxes of the coveted product at a migrant processing facility near the US-Mexico border.

Rep. Kat Cammack shared pictures of “pallets” of infant formula at the Ursula Migrant Processing Center in McAllen, Texas on her Twitter and Facebook pages Wednesday.

“The first photo is from this morning at the Ursula Processing Center at the U.S. border. Shelves and pallets packed with baby formula,” she wrote in a tweet accompanying side-by-side photographs of full and bare shelves. “The second is from a shelf right here at home. Formula is scarce. This is what America last looks like.”

Cammack’s office shared several additional images supposedly from the same location with The Post on Thursday.

The Post was unable to immediately independently verify the location of the images or obtain additional information about the history and frequency of shipments or the distribution of the formula.

In a video posted to Facebook, Cammack noted that while migrant children deserve to be fed, the stockpiling was just “another example of the ‘America Last’ agenda.” 

“It is not the children’s fault at all,” the congresswoman said. “But what is infuriating to me is that this is another example of the ‘America Last’ agenda the Biden administration continues to perpetuate.”

The images feature dozens of boxes of various baby formula and milk supplement brands, including Nido and Advantage.

In one of the pictures, the formula appears to have just arrived after being shipped to the facility and it is marked with a “DO NOT TAKE” sign.

Images of the formula on the shelves are not labeled with such a sign. The pictures also include boxes of GoGo squeeZ packs — a common snack for children. 

“All these processing facilities are receiving pallets of baby formula,” the congresswoman claimed, adding that she was notified earlier in the day that “three more pallets” are on their way to the facility. 

Cammack said in her video that she was sent the images by a Border Patrol agent who has worked in his role for “30 years.”

According to Cammack’s office, the agent did not provide any details on the frequency of the shipments, but did note that the pallets pictured “were just a few” of what had been received Wednesday morning.

“He, as a Border Patrol agent, just took in pallets, pallets of baby formula for all of the illegals that are crossing into the United States,” Cammack said. 

Border Patrol facilities across the southern border of the US are stocked with infant formula, Brandon Judd, the president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents told The Post.

“If [the Biden] Administration was not encouraging vulnerable women and children to put themselves in the hands of dangerous cartels, by incentivizing illegal immigration through the catch and release program, then the formula that is currently overstocked at the border patrol facilities could go on the shelves,” Judd told The Post Thursday. “I am certainly not saying we should not care for those in our custody. We should.”

Cammack urged her constituents to call their Democratic leaders and “demand that the administration take action on putting the baby formula back on the shelves for American kids.”

“I don’t know about you, but if I am a mother anywhere, anytime in America, and I go to my local Walmart or Target or Publix or Safeway or Kroger or wherever it may be that you shop and you are seeing their shelves and you are seeing signs that you are not able to get baby formula,” Cammack said. “And then you see the American government sending, by the pallet, thousands and thousands of containers of baby formula to the border, that would make my blood boil.”

It was not immediately clear how many containers the border facility had received as of Thursday.

In a statement, Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Biden had “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,” the governor added. “This is yet another one in a long line of reckless, out-of-touch priorities from the Biden Administration when it comes to securing our border and protecting Americans. Our children deserve a president who puts their needs and survival first — not one who gives critical supplies to illegal immigrants before the very people he took an oath to serve.”

 “CBP takes seriously its legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of individuals in our custody,” a US Customs and Border Protection spokesperson told The Post. “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.”

The Department of Homeland Security and the Ursula Processing Center did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for additional details. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement referred The Post to CBP.

Border officials often have to be prepared to take care of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, though it is unclear how many infants agents might come across. 

Typically, infants do not consume formula after they turn 1 year old. 

The images of the infant formula come as Americans face a nationwide shortage stemming from a February recall by top supplier Abbott Laboratories of name brand formulas made at its plant in Sturgis, Mich. 

The recall followed complaints of bacterial infections infants who consumed the products — which reportedly resulted in at least two deaths and four illnesses. 

Abbott Laboratories has defended its product, telling The Post there is “no evidence to link our formulas to these infant illnesses.” 

Currently, the company is working to reopen the facility to alleviate the shortage. 

“We understand the situation is urgent – getting Sturgis up and running will help alleviate this shortage. Subject to FDA approval, we could restart the site within two weeks,” they said. “We would begin production of EleCare, Alimentum and metabolic formulas first and then begin production of Similac and other formulas. From the time we restart the site, it will take six to eight weeks before product is available on shelves.”

In the interim, the recall has resulted in retailers such as Target, CVS and Walgreens limiting in-store and online formula purchases. 

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