BDuring a visit to a crowded detention center for migrants, America's Vice President Mike Pence admitted a “crisis” on the American border with Mexico. The system was “overloaded,” Pence said after visiting the McAllen border post in the state of Texas on Friday, where 384 men were housed in a kind of cage area in the heat of the day. In several cities, people protested against the conditions in the camps for allegedly illegally arrived migrants from Central America.
Pence, speaking to journalists, spoke of a “crisis that overburdens our system”. The democrats blame Congress for rejecting President Donald Trump's request to finance border measures. Congress must act, demanded Pence.
In the cage area, according to the traveling journalists stench prevailed. Accordingly, the allegedly illegal migrants did not have enough space to lie down on the concrete floor. They had no cots, mattresses or pillows, only polyester blankets. Some told reporters that they had been held there for 40 days or more, hungry and wanted to brush their teeth. The head of the detention center rejected the representation of the men. According to him, nobody was there for more than 32 days. They would receive three hot meals a day and could brush their teeth every day. He acknowledged, however, that many had not been able to take a shower for ten to twenty days. Meanwhile, there are additional showers.
Democrats complain of “appalling” conditions
In several US cities there were demonstrations on Friday against the conditions in the border camps, which have been publicly criticized for a long time. The protesters demanded their closure. “These are concentration camps,” 56-year-old Mimi Rosicky said in San Diego, California. There 2000 people demonstrated. There were also protests in front of the White House in the capital Washington.
Just two weeks ago, Democratic representatives had spoken of “appalling” conditions after visiting migrant centers. A report by the Inspector General of the Ministry of Homeland Security also referred to “dangerous overcrowding”. There is sometimes no access to showers and the food is much too one-sided and sometimes consists of sandwich breads. The “New York Times” reported from a completely overcrowded camp, in which several hundred children in dirty clothes in cells crowded. There were diseases. UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet has also recently sharply criticized conditions in the detention centers along the US-Mexico border.
President Trump has made the crackdown on illegal immigrants a priority of his policy. In particular, at the border with Mexico he is trying to reduce the number of illegal entries by a sharp foreclosure policy. The authorities there are overwhelmed, however, with the number of migrants they have taken from Central America, who want to get into the United States via Mexico. Most people flee poverty and violence in their home countries such as El Salvador or Honduras.