EL PASO, Texas — U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) on Friday stood by her criticism of immigration detention centers in the face of denials by Customs and Border Protection officials.
“This is not a ‘he said, she said’ issue. We have
Escobar was referring to statements from lawyers who visited El Paso-area facilities and last month issued scathing statements alleging neglect and “inhumane conditions” endured by detained migrants.
Since then, various CBP and Border Patrol officials have denied allegations ranging from not providing toothpaste and other supplies to detainees, having minors take care of younger children, keeping
Escobar said she and other members of Congress have visited El Paso-area facilities on a number of occasions and they have interviewed women who were detained for longer than 40 days and denied the right to shower.
“We are members of Congress, as part of our oversight we do talk to people in custody. … When we asked the (Border Patrol) station chief if the women had not been able to shower in a long time, he said, ‘no, that’s not true. our policy is that they shower every couple of days.’ But when I asked him to check the log, sure enough, the women were telling the truth,” Escobar said
Escobar said she doesn’t believe the Department of Homeland Security will improve migrant care with more money because it has received “a lot of money,” in addition to their budget.
“Even when you give them more money, things don’t improve,” she said.
On another topic, Escobar restated her denial of a Washington Examiner report that members of her staff have been going to Juarez, Mexico to coach migrants in the Migrant Protection Protocols program on how to answer asylum questions.