BOSTON (CBS) – Democratic lawmakers representing Massachusetts traveled to Texas on Saturday to tour a facility at the U.S.-Mexico border that is holding children who have entered the country illegally.
U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., described the conditions.
“What I’ve seen this morning is un-American. It is un-American that we are caging children,” Clark said.
Images of undocumented children in holding cells at the southern border date back to previous presidential administrations.
In 2014, during the Obama administration, The Arizona Republic published photographs of children sleeping in holding cells at a Nogales, Texas facility that held unaccompanied minors.
Clark blasted the current president for the continuing problem.
“Let’s be very clear. Immigration is a broken system, but what this president has done is put it into flames,” Clark said.
The Democratic lawmakers spoke out against separating families who are trying to enter this country illegally, many of them parents and their children who are seeking asylum.
President Trump defended the “zero tolerance” policy on Saturday from Las Vegas.
“Our issue is strong borders, no crime. Their issue is open borders, let MS-13 all over our country. That’s what’s going to happen. So, we’re being very, very tough at the border,” Trump said.
More than 2,300 undocumented children have been held in centers at the southern border in recent weeks, sparking protests in Boston and around the country.
Demonstrators including U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., are demanding that separated families be reunited.
“(President Trump) should come to Congress to talk to us about ways to change the immigration laws so we don’t have to go through this again,” Capuano said.
In Las Vegas, President Trump said, “The fact is, we need more Republicans because the Democrats are obstructionists. They won’t vote.”