in the vicinityVideoDHS bars Democratic staff from visiting the border facilities
‘The Five’ co-host Juan Williams weighs in on comments by Rep. Elijah Cummings to say that the DHS wants the reports on the conditions of the border detention facilities.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings on Thursday fired again, after the Department of Homeland Security barred the democratic staff of a visit to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities, with the statement that they are “distracting” them during their last trip.
Cummings, D-Md., They wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, blasting the Agency for its decision to “block” the democratic staff of a visit to demand, the decision was made only after the Committee, the staff of the inspections revealed potential problems in the centers.
EXCLUSIVE: DHS BARS THE EMPLOYEES FROM VISITING THE BORDER TO ‘RUDE’ AND ‘DISRUPTIVE’ BEHAVIOR
“With this letter I would like to Express my deep concern that the Department of Homeland Security decided to block the Committee personnel from the implementing city guides 11 prisons, there were only a few days after the former employee checks potentially serious problems with the treatment of children and adults in DHS detention — including the blocking of visits to sites, which the inspector General warned of an” immediate danger to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and those who are detained,'” Cummings Thursday wrote.
Cummings, the “last-minute denial of access called” unacceptable and said it affected the Committee of the “ability to carry out its oversight responsibilities in an effective manner.” Cummings went on to demand that the DHS, the “meaningful access” to all CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities for its employees.
Cummings’ letter to McAleenan came reports a day after Fox News that the DHS decision.
Officials of the Agency and the Republicans, though, gave a very different account of the visits of the last week. You quoted behavior of the employees that “disturbed” with the law enforcement authorities, including refusal to leave a site after the scheduled window, skip some of the tours and “to officers being rude”.
Cummings rejected, some of these allegations in his latest letter. “Committee staff have not been “rude” and not even refused to obey instructions from officials of the Agency,” Cummings wrote. “Committee staff comported themselves professionally at all times, while the defense of the authority of the Congress to conduct an independent investigation of these well-documented violations of human rights.”
Cummings also said that staff respect “to all staff” and complied with “all regulations.”
He added, “On a couple of occasions, Committee staff asked staff for the extra time, and they agreed. If the facility staff indicated that the time for visiting had expired, the Committee staff will be adhered to.”
Committee staff, both Democrat and Republican, visited border facilities last week. After the visits, a senior DHS official told Fox News that due to “operational load on the game field are brought by their refusal with the statement,” CBP could no planned support for the planned visits of the Committee for this week.
DHS Assistant Secretary of Legislative Affairs, Christine Ciccone even wrote to Cummings cited a number of concerns. “In the discussions between the Department and the Committee staff the Committee staff repeatedly explained, to hold that you intend to DHS guidelines,” Ciccone wrote in the letter obtained by Fox News. “In this light, we are not able to get your employees to visit … unless we get a firm commitment that the Committee and its staff complied with existing guidelines and policies.”
A democratic source had, on the Wednesday of the visit nixed was struck because of concerns about what employees learn from prisoners about the conditions on the ground. In his letter, Cummings examples of their “great concern was” about the treatment of detainees.
“[D]etainees at the Border Patrol facilities, the concern expressed that small children—and in one case, even a small child—were burritos fed instead of age-appropriate food, small children were kept in cold rooms, without suitable clothing, and the parents were not in a sufficient number of diapers for their children,” Cummings. “A prisoner claimed that a Border Patrol agent told a child who had spilled soup, the child would not eat, unless the child drank the spilled soup off the floor.”
He added that the inmates also told Committee staff, “they were put under pressure to sign documents in English without translation, and no access to phones.”
But Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, in a letter to Cummings on Wednesday said that the democratic staff coordinates and “took direction from liberal special interests,” before the conduct of interviews with these detainees. Jordan quoted, the sued a meeting with representatives of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal organization is currently in the Trump administration in detention centers at the border. Jordan claimed that the SPLC gave instructions to Democratic staff on the what for a ask you in your tours, as well as the proposed questions for the employees, the inmates and officials of the DHS for your visit.
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“One aspect missing from your employees travel, the go so far, no interest in the welfare of, or resources available to the brave men and women who serve to secure our border,” added Jordan. “A number of Border-Patrol agents told us the nasty rhetoric of the Democrats in Congress—a member of this Committee even compared them to Nazis — hurts morale and makes some agents are reluctant to tell people what you do for a living.”
Rep., Jordan was referring to was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, the border facilities referred to as “concentration camps on the Southern border.”