Less than 24 hours after Vice President Mike Pence defended the horrific conditions inside his administration’s detention camps at the border, the hashtag #FakeChristian began trending nationwide on Twitter.
Pence toured a dangerously overcrowded and foul-smelling McAllen Border Patrol station in Texas on Friday.
Images and videos from Pence’s visit showed around 384 men being held inside standing-room-only mental fences in the “sweltering hot” facility where they didn’t even have anything resembling mats or pillows.
The men, many who told White House press pool reporters that they had been detained for more than 40 days, complained of not having had a shower or having been able to brush their teeth in weeks.
“The stench was horrendous,” a reporter said. Video footage showed some of the border officers guarding the cages wearing face masks to combat the stench.
The temperature in McAllen, Texas, hit 99 degrees on Friday, with a heat index climbing to 110 degrees.
One man held inside the facility yelled through the fence to reporters, “Cuarenta dias, cuarenta dias” or “40 days” in Spanish. He could be seen holding up four fingers with one hand and forming a zero with the other to indicate his 40 days in captivity. A patrol agent at the scene claimed the longest any detainee had been at the facility was 32 days.
“No shower, no shower,” someone else could be heard shouting from the cages. The border patrol agent acknowledged that many of the men had not showered for 10 to 20 days for the simple reason that there were no actual showers at the facility until recently.
Another could be heard saying, “No agua,” or “No water” in Spanish.
“There were no mats of pillows — some of the men were sleeping on concrete,” the pool reporter said.
The vice president and pool reporters were pulled out of the caged area within 90 seconds.
Following his visit to the McAllen Border Patrol station and a newer facility, Pence said that “every family that I spoke to told me that they are being well cared for.”
2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg quoted a Bible verse to condemn the border facility conditions. The South Bend mayor tweeted: ““Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Heb 13:3)”
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Heb 13:3) https://t.co/PIkonlOLc7
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 13, 2019
One Twitter user wrote: “Leviticus 19:33,34 ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.’ Someone remind #FakeChristian @VP. Please.”
“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) July 13, 2019
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
— Nancy Levine 🌊 (@nancylevine) July 13, 2019
I looked up #FakeChristian in the dictionary and there was a picture of Mike Pence. Then a lightning bolt came from the sky and hit the picture of Mike Pence.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) July 13, 2019
If only Mike Pence could muster the same fake outrage over kids in cages as he does over kneeling football players #FakeChristian
— Joyce Recar (@joyz65) July 13, 2019
— S.C (@cns6720) July 13, 2019
— Peter Merlin Cane (@PeterMerlinCane) July 13, 2019