Less than 72 hours after a bombshell report by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general painted a horrific picture of the living conditions inside “dangerously overcrowded” Border Patrol Facilities in Texas, President Trump claimed that the centers “are run beautifully.”
“They’re clean, they’re good, they do a great job,” Trump told the White House press pool. “They’re crowded because the Democrats will not give us any relief from these loopholes. We have loopholes that are so bad. We have asylum that’s so bad. So these places are — many of them, not all of them – but many of them are incredible. They’re really well run.”
Trump defended Border Patrol agents, saying: “Border Patrol did not train to be doctors and nurses and janitors. That’s not what they trained to be. They trained to be Border Patrol. And that’s what they’re doing and they’re doing a phenomenal job.”
“I think they do great with those facilities. You know how it can be taken care of? Number one, tell them not to come,” Trump said. “I think that the Border Patrol has been treated very, very badly by certain members of Congress. For the most part, they’re very respected by Congress, but certain members of Congress say very bad things and lie and exaggerate.”
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released an explosive report on “Dangerous Overcrowding and Prolonged Detention of Children and Adults in the Rio Grande Valley” on Tuesday, along with shocking images showing the dangerous overcrowding conditions at Border Patrol Facilities in Texas.
Acting Inspector General Jennifer Costello urged DHS in a letter this week to take “immediate attention and action” to “alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The DHS watchdogs visited five Border Patrol facilities and two ports of entry in the Rio Grande Valley in the week of June 10th and found over 8,000 detainees crammed into cells for days at a time. Some men had been held in “standing room only” conditions for days at a time.
According to the report:
“Although TEDS standards require CBP to make a reasonable effort to provide a shower for adults after 72 hours, most single adults had not had a shower in CBP custody despite several being held for as long as a month. At some facilities, Border Patrol was giving detainees wet-wipes to maintain personal hygiene. Most single adult detainees were wearing the clothes they arrived in days, weeks, and even up to a month prior.”
The inspectors found that children were being held for long periods of time. The data showed that 826 of the 2,669 children held at the border facilities were in custody longer than the 72 hours mandated by court orders
At the centralized processing center in McAllen, Texas, 165 unaccompanied children had been in detention for longer than a week as they waited to be sent to shelters that care for immigrant kids. More than 50 of them were younger than 7 years old, and some of them had waited more than two weeks in border facilities.