Acting homeland security secretary defends border conditions

Kevin McAleenan says there is an "extraordinary challenging situation" at the border


Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is defending conditions at U.S. Border Patrol stations following reports of unsanitary conditions.

McAleenan says there is an "extraordinary challenging situation" at the border, but told ABC's "This Week" that reports of inadequate food and water and unclean cells at a station in Clint, Texas, are unsubstantiated.

Heidi Turpin, left, dressed as President Donald Trump, holds up a sign next to her husband, Jim, during a protest against detaining migrant children, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Heidi Turpin, left, dressed as President Donald Trump, holds up a sign next to her husband, Jim, during a protest against detaining migrant children, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

McAleenan said Sunday that DHS has 350 children in custody — down from June 1 when it had 2,500. He says Congress provided extra money for beds and soft-sided facilities.

A government watchdog office last week reported severe overcrowding in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, a busy corridor for illegal crossings. The report said children at three facilities had no access to showers and that some young children had been jammed in centers for more than two weeks.

Associated Press
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