Vice President Mike Pence an immigrant detention facility near the southern border in Texas on Friday, and came away unsurprised at the overcrowded processing center, according to The Hill.
Pence was in McAllen, Texas, at a tent-complex facility that has been open since May, which includes an area for detained children that was described as “cleaner,” and another area where nearly 400 men were being held in an extremely crowded fenced-in area where the stench was described by one reporter as “overwhelming.”
“I was not surprised by what I saw. I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed,” Pence said after his tour.
Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey described the scene:
“The cages were so crowded that it would have been impossible for all of the men to lie on the concrete. There were 384 single men in the portal who allegedly crossed the border illegally. There were no mats or pillows—some of the men were sleeping on concrete.”
“When the men saw the press arrive, they began shouting and wanted to tell us they’d been in there 40 days or longer. The men said they were hungry and wanted to brush their teeth. It was sweltering hot. Agents were guarding the cages wearing face masks.”
In an interview with CNN after the visit, Pence called the situation unacceptable, and pointed out that the conditions in facilities like McAllen’s are why Republicans have been seeking funding from Congress for Customs and Border Protection.
CNN’s Pamela Brown asked Pence about the difference between the relatively cleaner and more comfortable facility for children and their families versus the overcrowded one with the single adult men. Pence attributed the difference to the fact that, due to an overflow of illegal immigrants, a temporary facility had to be established.
“What you saw today was a very clean facility where people were being detained indoors, and then you saw a temporary facility that was constructed because this facility is overcrowded,” Pence said.
Pence made sure to mention that even the men in the temporary facility were receiving three meals a day, healthcare, and hygiene.
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