Menendez says he was also turned away from migrant processing facility

Menendez says he was also turned away from migrant processing facility
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) on Monday said that his team was also denied a tour of a migrant processing facility one day after Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyMerkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry DHS secretary defends Trump administration's migrant policies Trump faces Father’s Day pleas to end separations of migrant families MORE (D-Ore.) said he was barred entry from a detention center in Texas.

“This is outrageous. Sec. Nielsen owes us answers,” Menendez tweeted — referring to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenEx-ethics chief calls on Trump to end 'monstrous' migrant policies Laura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' Merkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry MORE — while adding a link to Merkley’s tweet about being denied entrance to a detention center.

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“My team was also barred from touring a migrant processing facility where families are being separated,” the senator added. “When the elected representatives of the people can't observe how our government is operating, we're in an upside down world.”

The incident comes amid growing criticism of the Trump administration’s policy that separates children and parents when they cross the border, including those seeking asylum. The policy has been called an attempt to deter migrant parents from coming to the U.S.

Merkley on Sunday was turned away from an immigration detention center in Texas which he said was housing immigrant children.

In a live stream of the event, he is seen introducing himself to guards outside the detention building and asking for permission to enter.

“I was barred entry. Asked repeatedly to speak to a supervisor—he finally came out and said he can’t tell us anything. Police were called on us,” Merkley said in a tweet.

The two events come shortly after it was reported that federal authorities lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) placed with sponsors.

HHS pushed back on those reports, saying the allegations that the children were lost are “completely false.”