Dem lawmaker demands probe into defense contractor that held migrant children in vacant building

Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoHispanic caucus report takes stock of accomplishments with eye toward 2021 Senators call on Pentagon to reinstate funding for Stars and Stripes newspaper Hispanic Caucus campaign chief to mount leadership bid MORE (D-Ariz.) says he's calling for an investigation into the U.S. defense contractor that reportedly detained dozens of immigrant children in a vacant office building in Phoenix.

The tweet came about a week after the Center For Investigative Reporting (CIR) said that a MVM Inc. held dozens of migrant children in a vacant office building, despite claiming that it did not operate shelters for children detained by federal agents. 


Gallego expands on his demand in a statement, saying that he requested an investigation from the Department of Homeland Security’s acting inspector general on Monday. The letter says that Gallego is urging a probe into "whether any state or local laws or agency policies were violated in holding the children at an ill-equipped office building."

He called for an assessment of how Immigration and Customs Enforcement has overseen companies that are charged with housing and transporting children. 

In addition, Gallego explains that he sent a letter to Kevin Marquez, the CEO of the company that leased the building in question. 

"Rep. Gallego requested additional information from MVM, including the nature of the accommodations, how long the children were held, and whether the company has future plans to house children in this building or at similar locations in the Phoenix area," the letter reads. 

Video obtained by CIR showed children being carried into the facility in early June. The news outlet reported that the building is not listed among shelters operated through the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Gallego's demand comes as many Democratic lawmakers continue to pressure the Trump administration about its immigration policies. Despite Trump signing an executive order last month to end the practice of dividing families at the southern border, thousands of children remain separated from their families. 

The administration missed a court-mandated deadline on Tuesday to reunite detained migrant children under the age of 5 with their families. Trump responded to this by saying that people shouldn’t “come to our country illegally.”