'Tough Stuff': Mike Pence sees Donald Trump's United States migrant camps

'This is tough stuff': U.S. VP acknowledges hardships at border detention centre

A pool reporter on the scene said the 384 single men at the facility were given three hot meals a day from a local restaurant but some had to sleep on the ground because there wasn't enough room for cots where they were being held.

Pence toured the facilities with Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Democrats turned down the invitation to go.

"Every family I spoke to said they were being well cared for, " Pence said, criticizing Democrats' "harsh rhetoric".

Some Democrats have described the detention centers as "concentration camps" and say the USA government is holding children in "cages".

"This isn't human. I'm not a terrorist", one man said.

"What you saw today was a very clean facility where people were being detained indoors, and then you saw a temporary facility that was constructed because this facility is overcrowded".

Pence took to Twitter to share pictures from the tour, writing that he and his wife "saw firsthand how even in the face of our overwhelmed facilities, @CBP is providing humane and compassionate care".

Asylum-seekers rest in the Donna Holding Facility in Donna, Texas on July 12, 2019.

Friday's visit came in the wake of a raft of public reporting and internal government investigations that have clarified the full scale of the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, due in part to mismanagement and neglect at Border Patrol processing centers.

Coverage of the visit is sure to spark new criticism of conditions facing migrants in United States facilities. Most appeared dirty, and officials said they were waiting for showers and had been brought in earlier Friday.

During the tour, Pence was approached by some small children, asking them if they were being taken care of at the facility.

The panel will also hear testimony from the Department of Homeland Security's acting inspector general, Jennifer Costello, whose office found "serious overcrowding and prolonged detention in Border Patrol facilities requiring immediate attention" during a trip to visit Border Patrol facilities in Texas last month.

But he used the inhumane imagery of more than 400 adult men shoved behind caged fences, in a facility reportedly reeking with body odor, to highlight the Trump administration's goal of stopping the flow of migrant families illegally crossing the U.S. -Mexico border.

Too, the bill would enable immigration officials to deport unaccompanied children "so we can send them back to their home country, back to their parents", Graham said.

US President Donald Trump said earlier on Friday that he had dispatched Pence to the border to dispel reports of dire conditions at the migrant detention centres. As a result, most have been moved out within the 72-hour time limit to HHS facilities.

Pence put on a stolid expression after visiting that facility.

For example, President Trump tweeted, "The Fake News Media, in particular, the failing @nytimes is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers". "I knew we would see a system that is overcrowded".

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