- President Trump in a tweet Sunday defended conditions at a migrant detention facility visited Friday by Vice President Mike Pence.
- "The adult single men areas were clean but crowded — also loaded up with a big percentage of criminals," tweeted Trump.
- Pence said conditions at the facility were not acceptable in an interview with CNN.
- According to immigration officials and reports the center was overcrowded and stinking, with migrants claiming to have been denied access to showers and regular meals.
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President Trump in a tweet Sunday defended conditions at a migrant detention center visited by Vice President Mike Pence, which he claimed were "clean but crowded."
The president’s claims are contradicted by evidence from video footage, pool reports, the manager of the center, and remarks by Pence himself.
"Friday’s tour showed vividly, to politicians and the media, how well run and clean the children’s detention centers are. Great reviews! Failing New York Times story was FAKE! The adult single men areas were clean but crowded – also loaded up with a big percentage of criminals," tweeted Trump.
"…..Sorry, can’t let them into our Country. If too crowded, tell them not to come to USA, and tell the Dems to fix the Loopholes – Problem Solved!"
Pence had visited migrant detention facilities in Texas Friday, ahead of planned ICE raids targeting undocumented migrants and their families across the United States. In his tweets, Trump did not disclose any information on the planned raids.
In a facility temporarily holding children and their parents in Donna, Texas there was air conditioning and no overcrowding, while a facility in McCallen Pence saw 400 male migrants held in sweltering conditions. Overcrowding in the centre so bad that some were forced to sleep on the concrete floor without cots, CNN reported.
In an interview with CNN, Pence was asked whether conditions at the McCallen facility were acceptable.
"No, it’s not. That’s the reason why we demanded that Congress provide $4.6 billion in additional support to Customs and Border Protection," the vice president said.
In a statement Friday, Pence’s office said that it had "specifically instructed [Customs and Border Protection, CBP] to not clean up or sanitize the facility beyond what is routine so the American people could see how serious the crisis at our border is."
Journalists were swiftly removed from the room where Pence saw men detained behind fences. But Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tweeted about witnessing squalid conditions – which were in stark contrast to the CBP’s claims.
"The men said they were hungry and wanted to brush teeth. Most didn’t speak English but gestured at us. CBP said three meals are brought in a day & they can brush daily. Stench was horrendous. CPB said it is cleaned 3x a day. Heat was sweltering. CBP said it was air conditioned," he tweeted.
Michael Banks, the agent in charge of the McAllen station Pence visited, told the Associated Press that many of the men had not showered for 10 or 20 days and said some had been detained there for as long as 32 days.
A Department of Homeland Security report in early July found "dangerous overcrowding," inadequate washing facilities, and children not given a hot meal for days in migrant detention facilities on the US-Mexican border.
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