Pence acknowledges 'tough stuff' at border detention centre

'This is tough stuff': U.S. VP acknowledges hardships at border detention centre

Vice president tours detention facilities at the border, disagrees with 'harsh rhetoric' about treatment

The scene resembled what an inspector general found in a scathing report delivered last week based on trips to Border Patrol facilities near the Rio Grande - including the station Pence visited.

The Trump administration has consistently described the situation at the border as a crisis needing a strong response, which many Democrat lawmakers described as contrived before recently changing their stance. "And the facts are that we have a crisis on our southern border that is being driven by human traffickers who are exploiting loopholes in American law to entice vulnerable families to make a long and unsafe journey north".

Friday's visit came in the wake of a raft of public reporting and internal government investigations that have clarified the full scale of the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, due in part to mismanagement and neglect at Border Patrol processing centers.

Per the pool report, there were roughly 384 people men there "in caged fences with no cots", and "the cages were so crowded that it would have been impossible for all of the men to lie on the concrete". He also said the longest any man had been there was 32 days.

Pence said later, "I knew we'd see a system that was overwhelmed".

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"[This is] a crisis that is overwhelming our system". Lindsey Graham said he doesn't want to see migrant families being released from Border Patrol custody.

The latest details to surface about the inhumane and despicable mistreatment of migrant children in detention facilities aren't -- unfortunately -- anything out of the ordinary.


"It's 2019, and we're still treating some people as less than human", said Pérez, a Democrat who was a critic of the child detention facility. It also came days before Trump-ordered nationwide raids targeting people in the USA illegally are expected to begin, according to administration officials and immigrant activists, actions that would further inflame the issue.

Nevertheless, Pence took issue with the decision by CNN (and, by extension, most media outlets) to focus on these conditions instead of the more habitable conditions at a facility for children and families he also visited on Friday in Donna, Texas. There, Dawsey described seeing detainees lying on "kindergarten-like napping mats" on the floor with a "thin tinfoil-like blanket".

Pence asked the children if they had food and were being taken care of.

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Numerous families there were to be released within 72 hours.

"Each and every one of the children, each and every one of the parents that I spoke to, told me they were being treated well", Pence said after his visit.

After visiting the second site, Pence had a more sober assessment. In one room, the intake facility, a crowd that appeared to be more than 100 people sat on benches.

Pence said he'll be bringing TV cameras. "The McAllen station, where our cells are overflowing ... ought to be a very clear message to every American that the time for action is now and the time for Congress to act to end the flow of families that are coming north from Central America to our border is now".

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