U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess Says Children Do Not Want to Leave Detention Camps, They Are Well Taken Care Of - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess Says Children Do Not Want to Leave Detention Camps, They Are Well Taken Care Of



    U.S. Rep. Says Children Don't Want to Leave Detention Camps

    U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville) is facing criticism after saying children being held in detention camps at the Mexico border do not leave, even through they are free to, because they are well taken care of. (Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019)

    Some children living in a remote border patrol station in Clint have been moved following reports of inadequate food, water, and sanitation.

    About 300 children were at the station outside of El Paso, some have been taken to a tent city.

    Attorneys monitoring care of migrant children visited the facility last week and said older children were trying to care for toddlers.

    U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-El Paso) said Washington has to take action.

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    Police released footage of a mother who said she accidentally left her 5-month-old in a car for half an hour in a Goodyear, Arizona, parking lot when she, her sister and other daughter went into the store. Officers are heard on camera saying it was about 99 degrees outside. 

    (Published Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019)

    "There was a 22-month-old separated from his father for two weeks. We cannot wait, we cannot wait. We've got to keep our eye on the ball, which is reforming DHS," said Escobar.

    She is urging more funding to care for these children to end what she calls -- "humanitarian abuses."

    U.S. Rep. Dr. Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville) has visited detention facilities at the border, but not the one at Clint.

    He raised some eyebrows with this statement on MSNBC's "All in With Chris Hayes."

    "I've been to Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas. Yes, it's a restored Walmart. You know what, there's not a lock on the door -- any child is free to leave at any time they want, but they don't. You know why? Because they're well taken care of," Burgess said on MSNBC.

    The congresman's office sent NBC 5 a statement Tuesday night clarifying that Casa Padre is a shelter run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is a part of the Health and Human Services Department.

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    Burgess disputes media reports on what's happening inside facilities and says people are "liable to say anything" out of hatred for President Trump.

    NBC 5 reached out to Burgess asking where adolescent children would go if they walked out of detention camps... and if he wanted to clarify his statement.

    Dr. Burgess sent NBC 5 a statement saying "in my experience, all shelters I have visited are designed appropriately for the ages of the children who occupy them. If an older teen decides to leave on their own volition, they are neither detained nor restrained."

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