Photo: Joaquin Castro/ Twitter
It shouldn’t take sitting members of Congress to reveal the truth about what is happening to incarcerated migrants along the Texas-Mexico border— but that’s where we are.
As part of a trip organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Texas Reps. Joaquin Castro, Veronica Escobar, Sylvia Garcia and others, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, visited two border camps in Clint and El Paso on Monday.
Their investigation into the camps spread to millions on social media, like Castro, who secretly filmed conditions at the overcrowded facilities:
“Our border patrol system is broken,” Castro said in a Twitter thread after the visit. “And part of the reason it stays broken is because it’s kept secret. The American people must see what is being carried out in their name.”
Not only were conditions at the camp horrible, but according to a number of the members of Congress who visited, Border Patrol deputies were also disrespectful and “hostile” to the lawmakers.
The Hispanic Caucus’ visit to the overcrowded camps occured the same day a ProPublica report exposed a secret Border Patrol Facebook group with 9,500 members that joked about the death of migrant children, encouraged violence against lawmakers, as well as posted sexist memes about them.
On Tuesday, the Office of Inspector General, a government watchdog, instructed the Department of Homeland Security— the federal agency in charge of this fiasco— to “take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley.”
The OIG conducted an investigating following complaints filed by the ACLU of Texas and the ACLU Border Rights Center regarding the mistreatment of migrants at these centers.
How have Texas’ top lawmakers responded to this self-inflicted humanitarian crisis so far? Well, judging from their Twitter feed, Sen. John Cornyn is pretending there’s nothing worth mentioning and Ted Cruz is upset about a decision by Nike to pull some shoes.
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at email@example.com