House Democrats are again raising concerns over the treatment of migrants who have been detained by the United States government after the lawmakers they were barred by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from visiting the facilities, per a report from CNN on Thursday.
In a letter sent to the Department of Homeland Security by Maryland Rep. and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, the Democrat lawmaker alleged that detained children were being fed burritos rather than age-appropriate food. According to the letter, a burrito was also fed to a detained infant in custody.
“One detainee alleged that a Border Patrol agent told a child who had spilled soup that the child would not receive more food unless the child drank the soup off the floor,” Cummings wrote, per CNN. “Detainees at Border Patrol facilities also told committee staff that they were pressured into signing documents in English without translation and denied access to telephones.”
Cummings also claimed that young children were kept in cold rooms and parents of young children were not given adequate access to diapers.
According to CNN, DHS did not respond to Cummings’ accusations.
The letter comes after Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee said they were denied access to 11 immigration detention facilities. Cummings said in his letter that he believed that DHS’ actions were inconsistent with testimony delivered before Congress earlier this summer in which the agency said it was open to Congressional feedback.
According to Cummings’ letter Thursday, though, DHS barred access to the facilities as some members of congress were en route to planned trips to the facilities.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Trump administration is also planning to enact changes that would reverse the policy that allows migrants with diseases like cancer and HIV to avoid deportation proceedings. According to the aforementioned report, migrants have said that deportation of ill people could result in their death due to inadequate medical care in their home countries.
In another Trump immigration policy move, the administration said it planned to “indefinitely” hold migrant children without vaccinating them. Per a previous report from The Inquisitr, the move was highly criticized and was even called “ethnic cleansing.”
Without notice, the Trump administration has eliminated a program that had allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while undergoing lifesaving medical treatment https://t.co/pTAcLmUdAF— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 29, 2019
Democrat lawmakers visited immigration detention facilities along the southern border in July and reported that they observed mistreatment and poor conditions. Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York took to Twitter following her visit earlier this summer and claimed that migrants were told to drink out of toilets when the sinks that were attached to them were not functioning. Representatives for Border Patrol at the time denied Ocasio-Cortez’ claims, per the New York Post.