Vermont Congressman Peter Welch traveled to McAllen and Brownsville, Texas on Sunday to see firsthand the detention centers created as a result of the Trump Administration’s enforcement of family separation policies. Upon arriving at a former WalMart housing about 1,500 boys, the at-large Democrat tweeted that it was “shameful.” Welch says he and other Congressional representatives saw children separated from parents and parents separated from children.
“One of the sights that’s just is seared in my mind was in one of these cages I saw it must have been brothers and they were like 5,6 and 7 and they didn’t know where their mom or dad was. And they just had each other. It’s a strange country. And they were lying on these thin mattresses that are provided with these mylar blankets and they were just holding on to each other for dear life. You could just see how fearful they were. I talked to a mom who came up with her 13 year old daughter and was going through the processing. She was told to go in another room. When she came back her 13 year old was gone and she has no idea where she is. So that’s pretty heartbreaking for anybody to experience and to be taking to the mom or seeing these three little boys and to know that this is unnecessary. It’s an unnecessary use of the authority the President has to separate kids from their parents in the name of I don’t what, trying to get political leverage.”
Peter Welch is Vermont’s at-large Congressman. The Democrat serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and is a member of the Northern Border Caucus.