Around the country, more than 40 percent of formulas are out of stock. The limited availability has left parents desperate and scrambling for a solution. The Biden administration announced modest steps on Thursday to address the crisis. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will take action on the issue next week.

It is inaccurate to suggest that President Biden is choosing to prioritize the needs of immigrant children over those of American children. Providing food — like formula — and water to migrant children detained at the border is required by a lawsuit settlement. It is unlikely that the amount of formula in stock at detention facilities would meaningfully ease the shortage.

The Flores settlement laid out the appropriate treatment of children detained by immigration officials. It included holding them in “safe and sanitary” facilities and providing “drinking water and food as appropriate” Under the settlement, the government agreed to quickly release children from detention.

Inspector general reports in 2018, 2019 and 2020 found that all Border Patrol facilities that investigators visited had baby formula available. A news release from Customs and Border Protection in 2019 also noted that facilities provided formula. Congress itself has explicitly cited infant formula in funding legislation for Customs and border Protection.
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