According to members of Congress who visited Border Patrol facilities, immigrant women being held were told by agents to get water out of toilets.
Lawmakers checked the facilities in El Paso and Clint, Texas to investigate detention centers used to detain immigrants after reports adults and children were being held in squalid conditions.
Reports from the Clint facility recently triggered outrage after lawmakers described children caring for toddlers and infants, inadequate water, food and sanitation, and no access to toothbrushes and soap.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said one of the women described the treatment by border agents – being woken up at wee hours and calling them whores.
“This has been horrifying so far,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We’re talking systemic cruelty [with] a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals.”
Rep. Joaquin Castrol also said that at Border Patrol Station 1, mothers were held in a cell that had one toilet but no running water.
“There was a toilet but no running water for people to drink,” Castro revealed. “One of the women said she was told by an agent to drink water out of the toilet.”
Some women had been held for fifty days and others had been separated from their kids, Castro added. He blamed the conditions inside Customs and Border Protection facilities on Trump administrations and said the problem wasn’t only about funding but other standards of care for detained adults and children.
Rep. Judy Chu described what she saw as disgusting and appalling. One epileptic woman said she wasn’t able to get medication for her condition.
Chu said on Twitter: “One woman said that the Border Patrol agent told her if she wanted water to drink from a toilet.”
A spokesperson of CBP said: “CBP takes allegations of mistreatment of individuals in our facilities seriously, and reports all allegations to both the DHS Office of the Inspector General and the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility.
“Any employee found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”
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