Rep. Ronny Jackson visits border in response to immigration crisis, describes ‘horrendous’ conditions

Local News

MCALLEN (KFDX/KJTL) — Horrendous and unbelievable is how Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) described his trip to the border Monday.

Jackson posted on Twitter that he was visiting a border process facility in McAllen. Jackson said he saw acres and acres of people packed in what he described as plastic cages. According to Jackson, the facility is over capacity and border patrol officials are struggling to keep up with the influx of illegal immigrants.

“I would describe what I saw as a COVID-19 incubator,” Jackson said. “We went to a facility just now that is supposed to hold 240 people and they have 4,500 people inside. They are literally on top of each other. None of them have been COVID tested. They don’t get COVID tested until they leave here and go to the HHS facility and even then most don’t get tested.”

Jackson is concerned these COVID-positive individuals will find their way into Texas communities. According to White House officials, when children arrive at CBP facilities they are not immediately tested even as about 10% of children eventually test positive for the virus, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection warns a surge in unaccompanied child crossings is expected to last at least seven months. The Department of Health and Human Services is asking employees to volunteer to go down to the border for up to 120 days to help care for the children.

The Biden Administration restricted media access to border patrol agents and detention facilities. Lawmakers like Jackson are calling for more access.

“I am very disturbed by what I saw today,” Jackson said. “It was just absolutely unbelievable. The administration had people following us around in there like there were handlers from North Korea. It was embarrassing.”

Jackson said what he saw was a full-blown humanitarian crisis. As of Friday, there were more than 18,000 unaccompanied children in U.S. custody.

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