Border

Outspoken Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, other lawmakers to tour troubled Clint border facility

CLINT, Texas - Outspoken and controversial New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be among a delegation of lawmakers who plan to visit the troubled Clint Border Patrol station on Monday as part of a Congressional probe into conditions at the facility.

Cortez, a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, is coming at the invitation of local Texas Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, who sits on the Judiciary Committee.

The visit by dozens of federal and state lawmakers is being organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus "to investigate facilities used to detain immigrants," according to Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro, who chairs the caucus.

In a statement issued Friday, he said the group will tour the Clint station and afterwards speak with the media about "how the facility is operating, the treatment of immigrants in the facility, and the enforcement of the Trump Administration's anti-immigrant policies."

Separately, former El Paso Congressman turned Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke will be at the facility on Sunday for what's being billed as a "Rally for Children."  Another Democratic presidential candidate — former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro — is slated visit Clint on Saturday to discuss what he called the "immigration humanitarian crisis."

"We should be treating these children the same way we would treat our own - with dignity, respect, and compassion," said Texas state Rep. Mary González, who will accompany Castro. "It is imperative that change is made, and that we put a stop to the unacceptable conditions under which children are being detained. I'm proud to stand with Secretary Castro to call attention to this issue."

Lawyers who visited the Clint facility near El Paso recently described migrant children living in squalid conditions with inadequate food and water. Some children were subsequently removed from the facility, but about 100 remain and Customs and Border Protection officials insist they are receiving good care. They provided a tour of the border station to journalists earlier this week, but didn't allow cameras inside.


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