Despite A Video, Mike Pence Attempts To Minimize The Horrendous Conditions In Detention Centers
After hundreds of organized protests around the country, we would hope the Trump administration would send someone to a detention center in a sincere effort to address the problem. Instead, Vice President Mike Pence was sent in a political move to combat the assertions of Democratic Congress members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib from their visit.
Reporters were allowed into the detention facility for 90 precious seconds. Pence wasn’t able to maintain his initial statement once he saw the unsanitary conditions migrants were kept in.
“What people are going to see is not the situation many Democrats have described,” Pence told reporters on Thursday.
His full statement was actually this: “What people are going to see is not the situation many Democrats have described, but actually a situation where our CBP agents are providing humanitarian care, health care, shelter, food, sustenance in a way that would make the American people proud.
But afterward, he said, “I was not surprised by what I saw. I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed.”
While he wasn’t able to reiterate that the conditions would “make the American people proud,” or offer any hope that he or his administration would do anything about it, he did try to blame Democrats for the conditions.
“The DHS facility in McAllen is a prime example of why we need to secure our borders,” he tweeted out after the visit. “The facility is overcrowded and our system is overwhelmed. It is time for Democrats in Congress to step up, do their jobs, and end this crisis.”
White House pool reporter Josh Dawsey was only allowed in for 90 seconds, and this is what he saw.
Dawsey said “the cages were so crowded that it would have been impossible for all of the men to lie on the concrete. There were 384 single men in the portal who allegedly crossed the border illegally. There were no mats or pillows—some of the men were sleeping on concrete.”
Agents were seen guarding the cages wearing face masks.
That’s likely because Dawsey reports that “the stench was overwhelming.” After talking with some of the people, they told him that they hadn’t showered in weeks. They wanted toothbrushes and food. In response, CBP said, “They were fed regularly, could brush daily & recently got access to shower.” Dawsey followed that up with asserting that “many hadn’t [showered] for 10-20 days.”
Reporters didn’t feel any air conditioning in a room where the outside temperature was already 97°F.
CBP said it was air-conditioned but Dawsey reports that the “heat was sweltering.” The facility doesn’t have a shower, but CBP says they all showered the day before “in an outdoor trailer.” What CBP told reporters directly contradicts much of what the migrants themselves had a chance to report to the outside world.
For example, CBP told reporters that nobody had been there longer than 32 days, but this man told reporters he had been there for 40 days.
He wasn’t the only one who told reporters that they’d been there longer. The migrants told reporters they wanted to brush their teeth and were hungry. CBP told reporters they brush their teeth daily and are fed three times a day. In Dawsey’s own words, the “stench was horrendous. CPB said it was cleaned 3x a day.”
This is the scene that Vice President Pence saw.
When migrants told reporters they were thirsty, CBP said the water was outside the fence and that they could leave the barrier to get water after the press left.
But this is the image he tweeted out to his followers.
Conveniently, this image seems to have chairs. What Pence was directly staring at much of the time was human beings sleeping on concrete, in an environment so foul CBP agents were wearing face masks.
Dawsey reported that the children’s facility was “new and relatively clean and empty.”
“There were cots & medical supplies & snacks,” Dawsey tweeted. “Children watched TV and told Pence through translator they were being taken care of. But at least two said they’d walked for months to get here.”
Is America proud yet?
The people in this image allegedly crossed the border illegally. We don’t know if they claimed asylum. We don’t know if these are people who have broken the law because they are effectively jailed without trial, in conditions worse than jail.
Trump is the man behind it all. It was he who decided to enact a policy that, instead of allowing asylum seekers to set up roots in American society while awaiting trial, to detain them in facilities that are overcrowded with a judicial system that is backlogged.
Watch the video below of migrants letting reporters know what has happened to them in detention.
New video shows severe overcrowding of men in cages at Texas detainment facility during VP Pence's visit Friday.— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 13, 2019
A group of men detained behind chain link fencing shouted to news cameras, "No shower, no shower!" https://t.co/iysmT8IUE1 pic.twitter.com/35KKyxb6w8