Democratic lawmaker says treatment of migrants at border 'not American'

Rep. Jan SchakowskyJanice (Jan) Danoff SchakowskyAhead of a coronavirus vaccine, Mexico's drug pricing to have far-reaching impacts on Americans With Biden, advocates sense momentum for lifting abortion funding ban Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick MORE (D-Ill.) has slammed the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children at border detention facilities, calling it un-American and “unacceptable.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Tuesday that more than 100 children had been moved back to a Border Patrol station in Texas near the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Attorneys who visited the facility in Clint, Texas, had previously told The Associated Press that children had inadequate food and had gone weeks without bathing.

The AP reported Monday, citing Health and Human Services's Office of Refugee Resettlement, that nearly 250 children held at the facility would be moved to other shelters and facilities this week.

Meanwhile, a viral image showing a drowned migrant father and his daughter lying face down in the Rio Grande river added to outcry this week of the situation at the U.S. southern border.

“The horror show that the American people are seeing right now down at the border — people dead in the river — it’s just not American,” Schakowsky said in an interview with Hill.TV that aired Wednesday.

“It’s not acceptable and I think that’s the image people are getting right now,” she added.

Schakowsky echoed comments made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal Why Democrats must confront extreme left wing incitement to violence The Hill Interview: Jerry Brown on climate disasters, COVID-19 and Biden's 'Rooseveltian moment' MORE (D-N.Y.), who compared detention centers housing undocumented immigrations to "concentration camps." That remark drew criticism from some on the right this month who accused Ocasio-Cortez of making a Holocaust comparison.

“These are like concentration camps — and I’m not afraid to use that word because we are concentrating people, children in one place in horrible, unacceptable conditions,” Schakowsky said. “We have to stop this now.”

Ocasio-Cortez's original remark last week saying that U.S. detention centers for migrants are "exactly" like "concentration camps" drew backlash from a number of lawmakers and Trump administration officials.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE’s top health official defended the administration's treatment of migrant children, calling Ocasio-Cortez’s comments “outrageous.”

“We’ve got professional men and women at the Department of Homeland Security who are doing their best to deal with a catastrophic border crisis. It would be more productive to get them funding,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Fox News.

The House, meanwhile, passed a $4.5 billion border funding bill on Tuesday following some last-minute changes to get more progressive and Latino lawmakers on board.

The bill would add provisions requiring CBP to enact health standards for individuals in custody. This includes implementing standards for both adults and children for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.”

—Tess Bonn