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The Guardians of Democracy

The Guardians of Democracy

GOP Lawmaker: Babies Are Free To Walk Out Of Trump’s Migrant Camps At ‘Any Time’


GOP Lawmaker: Babies Are Free To Walk Out Of Trump’s Migrant Camps At ‘Any Time’

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) on Monday said that migrant children at a facility in Texas, some as young as a few months old, are “free to leave at any time” but don’t because they are receiving great care.

“There’s not a lock on the door,” the lawmaker said during an appearance on MSNBC while defending the living conditions at a facility he previously visited.

“Any child is free to leave at any time. But they don’t and you know why? Because they’re well taken care of and yes at some point they are going to live with family, generally not mother or father but some family member, that’s a good thing,” he continued, pushing back on reports that children at two Border Patrol stations in Texas are being left without soap, water, blankets or medical care.

The Texas Republican said conditions at the Trump administration’s facilities are not as horrific as media reports claimed because that wasn’t his experience.

Burgess did acknowledge that Border Patrol facilities are “strained” due to the number of migrants crossing the southern U.S. border in recent months, but he did question the severity of conditions.

“I don’t know if it is hyperbole. I know the hatred for this president is so intense that people are liable to say anything,” Burgess told the MSNBC host. “All I know is I’ve gotta go and look for myself and see for myself.”

From sleeping on “freezing” concrete floors with the lights on 24 hours a day to being denied access to basic hygiene products like soap and toothbrushes, hundreds of migrant children being held in at least two CBP facilities are facing conditions one doctor described as comparable to “torture facilities.”

Warren Binford, a law professor at Willamette University, shared her firsthand account detailing the grave conditions she saw during a recent visit to a Texas migrant detention facility where 250 infants, children and teenagers were being held without adequate food, water or sanitation:

“Basically, what we saw are dirty children who are malnourished, who are being severely neglected. They are being kept in inhumane conditions. They are essentially being warehoused, as many as 300 children in a cell, with almost no adult supervision.

We have children caring for other young children. For example, we saw a little boy in diapers — or he had no diapers on. He should have had a diaper on. He was 2 years old. And when I was asked why he didn’t have diapers on, I was told he didn’t need it.

He immediately urinated. And he was in the care of another child. Children cannot take care of children, and yet that’s how they are trying to run this facility. The children are hardly being fed anything nutritious, and they are being medically neglected.

We’re seeing a flu outbreak, and we’re also seeing a lice infestation. It is — we have children sleeping on the floor. It’s the worst conditions I have ever witnessed in several years of doing these inspections.”

Almost none of the children that we interviewed had come across the border themselves alone. Essentially, they came across the border with family. And they are trying to be reunited with family who are living in the United States. Almost every child that I interviewed had family, parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents, siblings here in the United States who are waiting for them and are ready to care for them.

“The conditions within which they are held could be compared to torture facilities,” wrote physician, Dolly Lucio Sevier, in a medical declaration after his visit last week to border patrol holding facilities in Clint, Texas, and McAllen, a city in the southern part of the state.

At least six migrant children have died in U.S. custody in the last eight months.


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