U.S. Senator Barred from Immigrant Detention Center

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (D) attempted to visit the Casa Padre immigration detention center in Brownsville, Texas Sunday and was refused entry and had the police called on him.

Merkley’s staff attempted to secure a meeting with the facility, after which he tried to enter and tour the facility.

In the video footage of his experience posted to Facebook, Merkley can be seen approaching the building, which he claims is an old Walmart with locked doors and blacked-out windows.

Personnel told Merkley that he could not enter the building, but that a supervisor would come out to speak with him.

Before the supervisor arrived, however, the police showed up.

The detention center is being run by the California-based non-profit group Southwest Key Programs, and may be responsible for hundreds of immigrant and refugee children.

Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the administration would be doubling down on the practice of removing immigrant and refugee children from the custody of their parents at the border.

“If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”  — Sessions

As of now, no member of Congress has been able to gain access to the facility.

To read Iron Triangle Press’ coverage of the 1,500 immigrant children who have gone missing under U.S. custody, click here.


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