Vice President Mike Pence recently took aim at Democratic rivals in Congress over their refusal to fund detention centers used to house detained illegal immigrants near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Pence called the poor conditions in some of the detention centers “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking.” He also said that his administration has very limited options about how they could be improved until congressional Democrats agreed to sign off so that more funding can be offered to expand the detention space.
“We’re doing a lot with what the Congress has given us, but again Congress refused to increase the bed space in the last appropriations bill,” Pence during a Sunday interview on “Face the Nation. “They continue to delay efforts on additional humanitarian support.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow House Democrats have refused 17 different times to approve supplemental humanitarian aid that would help replenish the depleted resources at the southern border. This is completely ironic that the Democrats are actually the cause of the horrible detention camp conditions, since they have continuously blamed the Trump Administration for this issue and others.
The harsh conditions of an overcrowded Border Patrol station in Clint, TX, where approximately 250 migrant infants and children are being held were detailed by lawyers this week. Those that visited the patrol station indicated that the women and children had no access to clean clothes and personal hygiene items such as soap, toothbrushes, and clean clothes. In addition, many had not had access to showers since they entered the detention center.
Another serious issue is that Border Patrol staff are required to transfer any unaccompanied migrant children to the Department of Health of Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours of their arrival at the station. Attorneys and advocates have documented that this is not the case and that migrant children are being held for longer than this time limit.
When the vice president was asked if this should be acceptable to American citizens, his reply was a quick “absolutely not.” He also reiterated that the unacceptable issues in the detention centers are due to the “refusal” of the Democratic-led House to approve the Trump administration’s multi-billion-dollar request to fund shelters for unaccompanied migrant children, border enforcement, and other efforts that are required to effectively help with the influx of families from Central America that are currently moving towards the U.S.-Mexico border.
“It’s amazing to think that Mexico has done more to secure our southern border in the last 10 days than Democrats have done in the last 10 years,” said Pence. “The American people deserve better.”
In an effort to assist in negotiations and to encourage talks on the very serious matter, President Trump delayed a decision that was made on Saturday to begin massive deportation efforts of undocumented families. Instead of beginning the round up to deport these families on Sunday, Trump gave Democrats more time to negotiate and discuss what was needed to help the situation. The president did, however, threaten to mass deportations unless congressional Democrats agreed to revamp the nation’s asylum laws within the next two weeks.
Both parties in Congress are currently in negotiations about the necessary legislation to allocate some of the funds to the different agencies the administration as requested, including Border Patrol.