GOP rep: Children are free to leave migrant camps at 'any time'

Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessShimkus announces he will stick with plan to retire after reconsidering Shimkus says he's reconsidering retirement Shimkus says he's been asked to reconsider retirement MORE (R-Texas) on Monday said that migrant children at a facility in Texas are “free to leave at any time” but don’t because they are receiving good care.

“There’s not a lock on the door,” the lawmaker said while defending the conditions at a facility he visited. “Any child is free to leave at any time. But they don’t and you know why? Because they’re well taken care of and yes at some point they are going to live with family, generally not mother or father but some family member, that’s a good thing.”

Burgess made the comments in an appearance on MSNBC following reports that children at two Border Patrol stations in Texas are being left without soap, water, blankets or medical care.

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The Texas Republican defended conditions at the Trump administration’s facilities and said his experience was not as horrific as media reports claimed.

The Hill has reached out to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for comment.

Most of than 300 migrant children were removed from a CBP facility in Clint, Texas, after they were found living in squalid conditions.

Attorneys said last week that children were being held without proper food, water or sanitation at the facility.

Some of the children in the facility were reportedly sickened with the flu, with some being held in medical quarantine while others, including a 2-year-old boy, were reportedly only cared for by other children.

Burgess acknowledged that Border Patrol facilities are “strained” due to the amount of migrants coming across the southern U.S. border but questioned the severity of conditions.

“I don’t know if it is hyperbole. I know the hatred for this president is so intense that people are liable to say anything,” Burgess told the MSNBC host. “All I know is I’ve gotta go and look for myself and see for myself.”