News

Immigration

GOP Rep. ‘Outraged’ at Being Turned Away from Immigrant Children’s Shelter

Sign outside the Southwest Key Casa Padre unaccompanied-minor shelter in Brownsville, Texas, June 18, 2018. (Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters)

Republican representative Carlos Curbelo said Friday that he was “outraged” at being refused entry to a government shelter housing immigrant children despite setting up his visit in advance.

“Tried to visit an #ImmigrantChildren shelter today. Visit had been confirmed with local operators for over a week,” Curbelo wrote on Twitter Friday. “All protocols to request, schedule & get clearance were followed, and yet last night was told by @HHSGov staff in Washington I would be refused entry.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gave the “excuse” last month that “protocol” must be followed for such a visit, the Florida congressman wrote in another tweet, which added that he was “outraged” at the incident.

Several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have attempted to visit shelters for detained immigrant children in recent weeks, including Democratic senator Jeff Merkley. Merkley and five others showed up at the Southwest Key Casa Padre children’s shelter in Texas early last month, and were asked to leave by police. The Oregon lawmaker said his staff, much like Curbelo’s, had called beforehand to arrange the visit.

“They do not want members of Congress to see what’s going on inside. They do not want the public to see what’s going on inside,” Merkley said on a Facebook livestream as he waited outside the facility.

“Thankfully for the safety, security and dignity of the children being cared for there, they were denied access,” a spokesperson for the HHS Administration for Children and Families told ABC News regarding the visit. “No one who arrives unannounced at one of our shelters demanding access to the children in our care will be permitted, even those claiming to be U.S. senators.”

Curbelo said that he will now back a bill by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) which would require HHS to allow members of Congress to visit immigrant children in government custody.

“Executive must not obstruct the legislative branch’s Constitutional authority and responsibility to conduct oversight,” Curbelo wrote. “Blocking us from doing so only encourages suspicion you have something to hide.”

Around 3,000 children have been separated from the adults with whom they crossed the border following the implementation of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration-enforcement policy, which aims to prosecute all adults who immigrate to the U.S. illegally.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Most Popular

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

Jason Isbell’s Alt-Alt-Country Masterpiece

There has long been a chasmic disconnect between the creators and the consumers of Americana music. The Americana songwriter still wants to be Woody Guthrie, but the Americana listener stopped being Tom Joad about 60 years ago. Americana — or alt-country, or folk, or whatever we’re calling it this week — ... Read More

Jason Isbell’s Alt-Alt-Country Masterpiece

There has long been a chasmic disconnect between the creators and the consumers of Americana music. The Americana songwriter still wants to be Woody Guthrie, but the Americana listener stopped being Tom Joad about 60 years ago. Americana — or alt-country, or folk, or whatever we’re calling it this week — ... Read More

LOST, Ten Years Later: A Defense

A  man in a suit opens his eyes in the middle of a jungle. He doesn’t know how he got there. He is hurt but not seriously injured, though definitely disoriented. Out of nowhere, a yellow Labrador pops out of the dense foliage, then disappears back into it. The man gets up. He runs through the trees around him, ... Read More

LOST, Ten Years Later: A Defense

A  man in a suit opens his eyes in the middle of a jungle. He doesn’t know how he got there. He is hurt but not seriously injured, though definitely disoriented. Out of nowhere, a yellow Labrador pops out of the dense foliage, then disappears back into it. The man gets up. He runs through the trees around him, ... Read More