Members of Congress are scheduled to go on a tour of an immigration detention center today. The tour was approved by the Department of Health and Human Services in response to growing concerns about the recent massive increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border into the United States from Central America.
The tour will be of a temporary facility at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, which is one of a number of holding facilities in the south-western states where minors and other undocumented immigrants are being held until they receive official deportation proceedings. The number of people now being kept at these facilities has resulted in much speculation about whether the proper living conditions are being provided by authorities. Over 50,000 unaccompanied minors have been taken into custody after crossing into the United States since October last year.
The worry about the detention center conditions increased recently after Representative Jim Bridenstine was denied access to a Fort Sill facility, which is one of three centers where immigrant minors are being detained. Bridenstine was told he would have to wait at least three weeks to gain access, causing him to wonder what could be going on inside to demand such a lengthy waiting period.
“Any member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks,” Bridenstine told Fox News. “What are they trying to hide? As a navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking. I would like to know to whom these children are being released.”