WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of House lawmakers are visiting a migrant detention facility ran by the Department of Homeland Security in McAllen, Texas to investigate the treatment of children and families.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, who represents part of McAllen, and 13 other lawmakers will go on the trip. The visit to McAllen's facility follow a "three-day fact-finding mission to the Northern Triangles countries on the root causes of migration from Guatemala and El Salvador."
“House Democrats have made many trips to the border to assess the worsening humanitarian situation, hold the Administration accountable for this needless horror and heartbreak and get the truth for the American people," Pelsoi said in a statement. "As we return to McAllen, Texas, we are continuing to uphold the Congress’s oversight responsibilities – and we will do so, until conditions are improved to fully reflect American values and respect the dignity and worth of every person."
The lawmakers will also meet with the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center.
Many lawmakers and activists have criticized the conditions at a number of migrant facilities. Last month, Vice President Mike Pence visited a facility in McAllen where nearly 400 men were crammed inside fenced-off rooms and had not showered in weeks. In addition, some of the men slept on concrete without pillows or mats.
Gonzalez said in a statement that the Rio Grande Valley "will continue to be the epicenter of the humanitarian immigration crisis unless we work in a bipartisan fashion to address the root causes of migration in the Northern Triangle and focus on compassionate policies that treat migrants like people instead of animals in cages."
“McAllen and other communities along the U.S. southern border are often the final destination following a treacherous journey that many migrant children and families are forced to take," he said. "While we are prepared to help with the influx of migrants, our resources have been stretched thin because of the Administration’s failed immigration policies."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nancy Pelosi to join lawmakers for visit McAllen migrant facility