Pence acknowledges conditions at border detention center are ‘tough stuff’

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Vice President Mike Pence visited two detention centers for undocumented migrants in the Rio Grande Valley Friday complimenting living conditions and treatment by border patrol agents amid criticism.

"I knew we'd see a system that was overwhelmed", Pence said after his tour.

Asylum-seekers rest in the Donna Holding Facility in Donna, Texas on July 12, 2019.

"Rather than broadcast the full story, showing the compassionate care the American people are providing to vulnerable families, tonight CNN only played video of men in the temporary facility and didn't play any footage of the family facility at all, ignoring the excellent care being provided to families and children", Pence wrote.

"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.

Too, the bill would enable immigration officials to deport unaccompanied children "so we can send them back to their home country, back to their parents", Graham said.

In a statement issued Thursday ahead of Pence's border visit, Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman dismissed the VP's trip as a photo op. The men said they were hungry and wanted to brush their teeth.

A statement from Pence's office said it had "specifically instructed CBP to not clean up or sanitize the facility beyond what is routine so the American people could see how serious the crisis at our border is".

"This isn't human. I'm not a terrorist", one man said.

"Because of the smell, it was hard for me to sit by them", she said. The children nodded, with Pence responding, "God bless you".

"Every family that I spoke with told me they were being well cared for", he said, noting what he heard was different from what he called "the harsh rhetoric" coming from Democrats.

After he toured the first facility, Pence described a much better situation than the one that has been relayed by Democrats and in news reports.

Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan told the panel, "The biggest problem involves the unwillingness of Congress to address the loopholes that are causing this crisis". In a series of large white tents, most detainees were lying on kindergarten-like mats with thin, tinfoil-like blankets.

Friday's House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing offered a microcosm of the nation's red-blue chasm and, perhaps, a chance for each side to vent.

Last week a report by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general found children at some Texas border facilities who faced clothing shortages and lacked hot meals, while some adults were held for a week in a cell so crowded they had to stand. Most appeared dirty, and officials said they were waiting for showers and had been brought in earlier Friday.

Pence said it was heartbreaking to hear from children who had walked two or three months to come to America and cross the border illegally, but he ultimately blamed Congress for failing to pass legislation that would deal with the influx of migrants at the southern border.

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