New photos depict horrific conditions at border detention center
June 17, 2014
New photos released by Rep. Henry Cuellar’s (D-Texas) office depict the unsanitary and cramped living conditions that undocumented immigrants, many of whom are unaccompanied children, are experiencing in a detention center near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The photos were first published by Business Insider on Monday. Cuellar’s office declined to tell the website who took the photos and where exactly they were taken.
President Barack Obama has previously called the buildup of unaccompanied minors at temporary border facilities an “urgent humanitarian situation,” and the government has directed considerable resources to housing and caring for the children. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, is supposed to turn over minors to the Department of Health and Human Services within three days, but many children are remaining in detention facilities for longer periods due to the massive influx.
Breitbart Texas released photos of the crisis in early June that showed the undocumented immigrants living in tight, hard-floored spaces. CBP is currently investigating reports that minors have been mistreated at those facilities.
Cuellar, who toured a detention facility in McAllen, Texas, on Saturday with local officials, said in a press release on Monday that he believes federal officers “are doing all that they can under the circumstances to ensure every migrant is treated with dignity and respect.”
"There is no strong protocol in place for dealing with Central American immigrants and some of the most important work left is to improve the process for returning them to their home countries," he said. “The United States needs to do a better job in working with Mexico to strengthen their southern border and to work with the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.”
Vice President Joe Biden is set to travel to Latin America on Friday and will address the surge at the border.
Obama can call this an urgent humanitarian situation all he’d like. His record number of deportations speaks louder than any meaningless lip service.
Nearly 50,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border & detained in these torturous conditions since Oct. 1. This is a state-sanctioned humanitarian crisis & government child abuse.
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