Tents within the Border Patrol Station in Clint, Tx | Photo by Justin Hamel – Frontera Studio
Republican Representative William Hurd addressed members of the Texas press Tuesday morning, placing blame for the situation at the Clint Border Patrol Station on his “friends on the other side of the aisle.”
Last week, Human Rights Watch lawyers found 255 children in deplorable conditions at the Clint Border Patrol Station outside of El Paso. 59 children were under the age of 12.
Representative Veronica Escobar, echoing the outrage and confusion of so many, posed the question, “Who will be held accountable for these atrocities?”
Hurd, who represents the 23rd district of Texas where the Clint Station sits, hasn’t personally visited the location – although members of his staff have.
He pointed out that the facility is “in essence no different than many of the other facilities on the border,” designed to hold a handful of people for a handful of hours, not hundreds of people for multiple days.
Hurd agreed that the Clint facility was over capacity, with not enough staff on hand. However, according to Hurd, there was baby formula and diapers on hand, as well as snacks and three meals a day.
The AP reported “inadequate food, water and sanitation” at Clint.
Escobar called the treatment of children at Clint “humanitarian abuses.” She has repeatedly called on Trump to take responsibility for the treatment of migrants and asylum seekers, recently tweeting:
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Children do not belong in detention and @realDonaldTrump‘s failed policies are only harming children and promoting needless and cruel family separation.
This must end.
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) June 24, 2019
Hurd, who is pushing Congress for a supplemental bill of 60 million to support border communities, said Tuesday that without Democrats placing additional funds with ICE or HHS, these issues will not be resolved.
“The reasons that you have problems with a facility that was not designed to do detention is because HHS (Health and Human Services) doesn’t have the capacity to take on additional kids. Clint and most facilities were not a detention facility – that is the broader problem,” said Hurd.
Additionally, Hurd pushed for faster deportations to keep holding centers from becoming overcrowded; stating, “people should be being deported within 21 days.”
As for the Clint station, Tuesday morning, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official shared that roughly 100 children were sent back to the Clint Border Patrol Station.
The official justified the action saying the initial movement of minors cleared the earlier reported overcrowding. The official echoed a similar sentiment as Hurd, mentioning unlimited snacks as proof of fine conditions.
Meanwhile, the confusion on the border continues.
Military-style tents at the West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca and the Ysleta Border Patrol Station in El Paso house migrants.
It is unclear to those questioning the conditions of these tents who is being housed where – especially as the MPP (Remain in Mexico) program continues to send more and more individuals back to Mexico.
Author/Photographer: Jordyn Rozensky – El Paso Herald Post