President Trump on Friday claimed that the real victims of the “dangerously overcrowded” Border Patrol detention center’s are the Border Patrol agents who are being “treated very, very badly by certain members of Congress.”
Trump made the remarks days after a bombshell report by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general painted a horrific picture of the living conditions inside the overcrowded Border Patrol facilities in Texas, warning that they were at “immediate risk” of jeopardizing the health and safety of agents and detainees.
“They’re clean, they’re good, they do a great job” Trump told the White House press pool, contradicting his government’s own report. “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.”
A group of Democratic lawmakers visited a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, on Monday and later described the “toxic” conditions they said migrants were facing inside the facility.
“Just left the 1st CBP facility,” she tweeted. “I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me. Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets. This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.”
She said people were “drinking out of toilets” while officers laughed “in front of members Congress.”
“These [Border Patrol] officers felt brazen in there,” Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday night. “While mgmt was telling us it was a ‘secure facility’ where *members of Congress* had to check their phones, we caught officers trying to sneak photos, laughing. CBP’s ‘good’ behavior was toxic. Imagine how they treat the women trapped inside.”
Trump’s comments also came days after ProPublica released a report showing that participants in a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents had shared racist and misogynistic comments and memes about migrants and Ocasio-Cortez. The report was released on the same day
After the death of a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant in Border Patrol custody, one member of the group posted a GIF featuring Elmo and the words “Oh well.” Another member of the group responded: “If he dies, he dies.”
Members also encouraged violence against Ocasio-Cortez and other female lawmakers during their planned visit to the Clint, Texas, station.