TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Republican congressman said after a recent trip to Texas that he is pleased with the quality of medical attention and housing for migrants held in federal facilities at the southern border.
The Kansas City Star reports Rep. Roger Marshall toured several sites in the McAllen area, including a processing center, a tent city and a warehouse where migrants are held. He said the trip to the border re-solidified his support for President Donald Trump’s border wall proposal.
“They have showers, put them all through medical assessment,” Marshall said. “We’re trying. Is there room for improvement? Yes.”
Marshall traveled to Texas as a member of the “Doc Caucus,” a group of Republican doctors in Congress. He has said he might run for U.S. Senate.
The Kansas congressman’s assessment was strikingly different from the one reached by Democrats who this week visited separate facilities in the El Paso area, more than 700 miles west of the facilities Marshall toured in the McAllen area.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, posted video on Twitter of migrant women being housed in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility who he said had been deprived showers and medication.
“Many said they had not bathed for 15 days. Some had been separated from children, some had been held for more than 50 days. Several complained they had not received their medications, including one for epilepsy. Members of Congress comforted them when the women broke down,” said Castro, whose twin brother Julián Castro is running for president.
“It’s ironic that Democrats’ theatrics and screaming at Border Patrol agents comes after their refusal to properly fund the border the last 2 and a half years. And remember — just 6 months ago the Democrats dismissed this as a ‘manufactured crisis,'” Marshall told the newspaper in an email Tuesday.
A report released Tuesday by Department of Homeland Security Acting Inspector General Jennifer Costello raised concerns of overcrowding at some of the same McAllen area facilities that Marshall visited. The report features pictures of detainees in standing room only facilities.
“We are concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained,” states the report, which is based on June inspections of multiple facilities.