Forgot the semantic argument. Whether you refer to the detention centers where migrant children have been held in deplorable conditions as “concentration camps,” “internment camps,” or simply “detention facilities,” watching the GOP scramble to blame everyone they can and excuse the horrifying treatment of children is sickening and far beneath the values this country once claimed to stand for. Yet, they continue to dismiss concerns and blame President Obama, who hasn’t been in office for two years.
Rep. Burgess on conditions in migrant camps: "You know what? There's not a lock on the door. Any child is free to leave at anytime, but they don't. You know why? Because they are well taken care of." https://t.co/uPealDEBtU
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 25, 2019
Former physician and current GOP Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX) did Trump’s song and dance in an interview on Monday, offering excuses and insisting that since no one cared how migrant children were treated under President Obama, concerns now are based solely on hatred for President Trump. He also insisted that these children, some as young as five months old, “can leave at any time” and said that birder officials “provide the child with an 800 number that they can call.”
On MSNBC, in an interview with Chris Hayes, Burgess said that:
‘There’s not a lock on the door. 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.’
— Families Belong Together (@fams2gether) June 25, 2019
He repeatedly denied that children are being neglected and mistreated despite witnesses who say that children as young as eight years old are caring for infants and toddlers, saying that these claims are being made by anti-Trumpers, and “the hatred for this president is so intense that people are liable to say anything.” He went on to decry conditions under which these children were treated under Obama, saying that in 2014, the U.S. was sending children to “God knows where…no follow-up” to be “trafficked by family members.”
He went on to say that children who have been found ill by immigration attorneys arrived that way, and that blaming the current administration for allowing them to remain sick without medical care is the result of bleeding hearts liberals who want open borders, saying “you have people who advocate for open borders and then a vast social safety net, what do you think’s gonna happen?”
Burgess, who once treated patients, dismissed the conditions these children have experienced, saying “those children arrived with the lice” and “people were arriving having contracted the flu.” He did not address the fact that these children were not then taken to a physician or properly treated for their illnesses until immigration attorneys demanded that they be so and spoke to the media, raising public outcry.
Inhumane and un-American >>
“I have never seen conditions as appalling as what we witnessed last week,” she said. “The children are hungry, dirty and sick and being detained for very long periods of time.”
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) June 25, 2019
Of course, there was also the requisite blaming of current Democrats in Congress, who Burgess and every other GOP official says won’t properly fund the detention facilities. Of course, reports show that the government is spending $775 per person, per day, to detain these living, breathing, human beings, who are being given inadequate food, not provided with beds or blankets, and are allowed to languish, ill, without medical care.
Hayes noted that Trump has, in the past, appropriated $15 million in tariff relief for farmers and $4 billion for the border wall and asked why Trump didn’t see this issue as important enough to do something similar. Still, Burdess continued blaming Congress, saying “what Congress needs to do is appropriate money.” He never addressed questions about where the money already being spent is going.
For his full interview, see video below:
Featured image screenshot via video