(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) used his opening testimony as a minority witness at the House Oversight Committee’s hearing Friday on the separation policy at the border to defend the Border Patrol amid allegations of neglect and abuse of migrants at CBP detention facilities.
At the hearing titled, “The Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy: Substantiated Allegations of Mistreatment,” Roy said he toured CBP facilities multiple times over the years. He said his chief of staff visited the facility in Clint, Texas, last weekend and had a different experience from those alleged by Democratic members of Congress.
“My chief of staff went to the border this last Saturday down to Clint to go to the facility after hearing all the horror stories. My chief of staff had a very different experience in terms of what he saw in terms of the cleanliness of facilities, in terms of Border Patrol trying to do its job, trying to make sure that people are taken care of after a long hard journey through Mexico, making sure they do have potable water, including having water containers right outside the very cells where we were told that they didn’t have water to drink, having the toothpaste, the food, the diapers, the things that are necessary to take care of people after a long, hard journey while this body has failed to secure the border and created the very magnet … that is causing these migrants to come through and be abused by cartels while this body cowardly sits in the corner doing something about it,” he said.
Roy told stories about illegal immigrants being abused by cartels.
"‘At certain stations, gangs boarded the trains and demanded a toll. The rate was $100 per station. They threatened us. They said they would hold us until we could call a relative to arrange to pay. If we couldn’t pay, they would throw you off the roof. Johnny was separated from his family on the train, and it’s unclear what happened to his wife and children. Just two weeks ago, a 19-year-old woman fell from one of these trains in .. Mexico, killing her.’”
Roy said when the train stopped “‘the woman hopped off to buy some cheese-stuffed rolls, and when the train crowded with migrants began to move again, she hustled to clamor back aboard, but the train suddenly stopped. She lost her grip and fell beneath its wheels. It dragged her 100 yards before jerking forward again in a thunder of shuttering steel.’”
“Coyotes take advantage of our system, leading women and children to the border. While along the journey, one in three women are sexually assaulted. This is the reality of what’s happening between the Northern Triangle and Texas. This is what is happening because we refuse to do our job. What about Border Patrol?” Roy said.
The congressman read the first-hand account of a Border Patrol agent named Sergio who was born in Texas and worked hard labor on a farm to support himself while his mother remained in Mexico before he joined the military and became a Border Patrol agent.
Sergio wrote the following in an article that appeared on July 5:
The last thing this son of Mexican immigrants expected was to be compared to Nazis by America’s elite for serving his nation and protecting our dangerous border.’ He said, ‘our agents are just completely overwhelmed. They are exhausted. Not only are they exhausted out in the field, exhausted inside the station’s processing. They are exhausted by all of the rhetoric that’s coming down through the media and this Congress. Our own congressional leaders are vilifying our leaders.
Add to these thoughts an exhausting 10-hour shift of seeing hundreds of illegal immigrants at the facility you work in and out in the field at temperatures over 100 degrees. Add countless amount of mothers and fathers telling the agent that their child is sick and needs attention. Add being in a facility that can only 300 detainees currently holding 1200 all waiting to be processed and released because of the immigration loopholes that brought them here in the first place.
More so, add having just rescued a mother and child from drowning in the Rio Grande, caring for an infant after being stung by a swarm of bees in the hot brush of the area where they entered the country illegally. Add the memory of finding a decomposing dead individual who was left behind by the ruthless smuggler because of an injury or exhaustion. A Border Patrol agent should be going home at the end of shift to decompress and leave all these matters behind at the workplace.Those things will be waiting for the agent again tomorrow.
There will be another daring rescue, another small caravan of over 1,000 individuals to deal with and try to fit into an already overcrowded facility. There will be another set of individuals or kids requiring medical attention, which the agents will tend to, but now with comments such as these, the Border Patrol agent must go home and hear about how their families have also heard those comments depicting mom or dad as a murderer of kids and their parents, how mom or dad are running gas chambers to kill all the illegal immigrants.
Roy said Republicans and Democrats have failed.
“The GOP all too often want to stand at the Rio Grande with a no trespassing sign,” the congressman said, “and with a help wanted sign in the other.”
“Meanwhile, my Democrat colleagues prefer to stand in front of chain link fences next to an empty parking lot while making up hyperbole for clicks, Twitter followers and cynical politics,” he said.
Roy proposed the solution to the problem is to “take out the cartels, recognize that they’re terrorist organizations, fix our asylum laws to be welcoming but not tragically abused by cartels, end catch and release, and give ICE the resources to do their jobs.”
“President Obama sent up a bill for $760 million for ICE. Why were we not funding ICE so that we have a place to be able to put people when they come through Border Patrol?” he asked.
“It is time for action. This Texan is not going to sit by and watch his state and Texas communities get overrun and abused because the cowards of the swamp sit idly by and cynically fail to do their job,” Roy concluded.