Footage released this Friday gave some more insight into the conditions at a federal detention center in Texas near the US-Mexico border. The footage also shows Vice President Mike Pence touring the facility as migrants housed behind cages look on.
According to a report from NBC News, reporters that accompanied Pence described the smell in the facility as “horrendous.” At one point, the footage shows men in the cage chanting, “No shower! No Shower!” as Pence stood just feet away from them.
New video shows severe overcrowding of men in cages at Texas detainment facility during VP Pence's visit Friday.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 13, 2019
According to Pence, what he saw during his tour was a “system overwhelmed.”
From NBC News:
The vice president, flanked by Sen. Lindsey Graham. R-S.C., and officials from the Department of Homeland Security, repeated the words, “the crisis is real,” in referring to illegal border crossings and legal asylum claims at the border.
“But what’s not real,” he said, “is the slanderous allegations of heartless mistreatment by Customs and Border Protection. I can see it in your eyes, I can hear it in your voice, about the care and concern.”
“I couldn’t be more impressed with the compassionate work that our Customs and Border Protection are doing here at this border facility,” Pence said.
He said President Donald Trump sent him so “the American people could see what’s happening here.” A reporter on the tour was not allowed to speak to children or adults being held.
“It’s time we moved past the harsh rhetoric of the American left,” Pence said at the roundtable held in McAllen.
Pence’s narrative contradicts that of San Francisco immigration attorney Hope Fry, who insists that the conditions she witnessed were less than ideal.
“The idea that this is false or exaggerated is really offensive to me,” she told NBC News. “It’s like saying migrants’ voices are untrue. It all paints the same picture — depraved indifference to the safety and welfare of children who come to us and are put in our care.”
Featured image via screen grab