On Monday, members of the Democratic Congressional delegation visited the southern US border. The primary intention of the trip was to examine the condition of the migrants held in the facilities. After the visit, they described conditions there as squalid and unfit for human habitation.
Drinking water out of toilets
Particularly interesting were the remarks by New York Representative, Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez. In a show of anger at how the immigrants are treated, AOC lamented the fact that Customs Border Patrol (CBP) officers seemed not to care about anything.
The Congresswoman noted that officers were “laughing in front of members of Congress” without regard to their presence. On bringing up the issue with superiors, the official explanation given was that CBP officers are under intense pressure especially considering the attention happenings at the border attract.
For the Congressional delegation, there is a humanitarian crisis at the southern border. According to the delegates, the conditions they witnessed confirm an expose by ProPublica about how CBP officers degrade migrants.
In the report, CBP officers allegedly share jokes about migrants which are derogatory. Particularly, the officers are said to have a Facebook group where all manner of dirt is passed around and laughed at.
Border patrol chief refutes the claims
But the CBP fraternity is contesting the verdict by the ProPublica report and that of the Congressional delegation.
Brian Hastings, the Chief of Operations for the US Border Patrol countered the claims in the reports terming them untrue. Particularly, Hastings refuted the truth of the report that migrants drank water out of toilets.
In defense, Hastings said that they have enough supplies of necessary materials and food to sustain the migrants at all facilities.
Reports of worsening conditions at the detention facilities have hit major headlines in the US for weeks now. Just last week, the House passed a bill which would avail close to $4.6 billion in funding to get resources allay a possible humanitarian crisis at migrant detention facilities.
The White House, and the President in particular lauded the passage of the bill. After the visit to the border, the delegation commented that they are looking forward to a different situation once the money gets to the CBP.