McAllen, Texas — Vice President Mike Pence went to U.S.-Mexico border Friday amid allegations that migrants are being held in squalid conditions. However, he told a story that’s different from the one being told by Democrats and some government inspectors.
Pence spent hours touring Border Patrol facilities, including the tent city in Donna, just outside McAllen, Texas, where he and his entourage saw migrants sleeping on the floor. Five Republican senators were with him, but not a single Democrat accepted the invitation to come along.
Pence’s visit comes on the heels of a scathing report from the Office of Inspector General, where one manager called the situation at Border Patrol facilities “a ticking time bomb.” At least five migrant children have died in government custody since September.
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- “You hear kids crying”: Border Patrol agent describes conditions in migrant detention centers
CBS News recently spoke with a 22-year-old woman from El Salvador just hours after she was released from another holding facility in south Texas. Holding a newborn, she said she was crammed into a holding cell and forced to sleep on the floor, terrified by the sheer volume of people inside.
Friday morning in Washington, the House Oversight Committee released a report saying at least 18 children under 2 years old were separated from their parents from 20 days to half a year.
At a hearing, members debated the conditions at migrant detention centers.
“When these women tell me they were put into a cell, and that their sink was not working and we tested the sink ourselves and the sink was not working, and they were told to drink out of a toilet bowl, I believed them,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez .
Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko said Democrats are exaggerating. “They’re not drinking out of toilets,” Lesko said.