Courtesy of Second Nexus:
On Sunday, Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley attempted to visit an immigration detention facility in Brownsville, Texas. His day began in McAllen, speaking with asylum seekers and looking for answers.
The Oregon Democrat said he wanted to speak to representatives of the immigration service regarding the new Trump administration policy to remove all minor children from their parents seeking asylum upon entry into the United States.
Merkley, who has served in the United States Senate since 2008, also wanted to tour a facility housing the children.
They actually called the police on a member of the Senate.
Merkley did manage to visit a processing facility and this is what he saw:
“They have big cages made out of fencing and wire and nets stretched across the top of them so people can’t climb out,” Merkley told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota of the McAllen border patrol station in Texas he toured on Sunday. “It’s just a concrete floor and people are being given these space blankets to sleep on. A space blanket is…the equivalent of foil. So obviously a very uncomfortable situation to be in.”
Merkley added that when he inquired about the draconian living conditions, he was given “generic” answers: “this is what’s required for security, this is what’s required for control.”
That is just fucked up!
It was revealed later that Senator Robert Menendez was also turned away when he attempted to visit a detention center in Texas.
Courtesy of The Hill:
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on Monday said that his team was also denied a tour of a migrant processing facility one day after Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said he was barred entry from a detention center in Texas.
“This is outrageous. Sec. Nielsen owes us answers,” Menendez tweeted — referring to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — while adding a link to Merkley’s tweet about being denied entrance to a detention center.
“My team was also barred from touring a migrant processing facility where families are being separated,” the senator added. “When the elected representatives of the people can’t observe how our government is operating, we’re in an upside-down world.”
I am pretty sure that government facilities are supposed to be open to scrutiny by government officials, especially those tasked with oversight of those facilities.
It also seems that if there were nothing problematic about these facilities they would gladly allow scrutiny from the press and those same officials.
It seems clear that something terrible is happening behind those locked doors, and that means they ABSOLUTELY need to be opened to public scrutiny.