Pence blames Democrats for detention facility conditions owned by his administration

Think Progress

Vice President Mike Pence visited a Border Patrol detention facility in Texas on Friday evening. The image of him in a blazer, blithely looking through a chain-link fence at hundreds of people, forced to stand in an overcrowded, confined space with no room to lie down, is destined to be one of the seminal representations of the Trump administration’s treatment of migrants coming to the United States, many of whom are seeking asylum.

After visiting the first detention center, constructed a few months ago, Pence dismissed the idea that the migrants were receiving anything less than stellar care, blaming Democrats for the “harsh rhetoric from Capitol Hill.”

“And while we hear some Democrats in Washington, D.C., referring to U.S. Customs and Border facilities as ‘concentration camps,’ what we saw today was a facility that is providing care that every American would be proud of,” Pence told reporters after the visit. Sitting in the background of one of the photos he shared on the Vice President’s official feed was a little girl, alone and for the moment, ignored, as highlighted by The Nation’s Joan Walsh.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) noted Pence’s reaction to the conditions he saw, while cameras were rolling, was to talk about the “compassionate care” he saw. Beyer called it “just abominable.” He said that Pence and Trump are purposely making conditions worse, and they could stop it.

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