Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s Statement on Trip to Southern Border

July 1, 2019
Press Release


El Paso, TX– Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) released the following statement following her visit to investigate several facilities used to detain immigrants along the Southern Border in Texas.

“I accepted the invitation to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, along with many of my colleagues, at the Southern Border because being a member of Congress is not just about passing legislation but also about finding the truth on behalf of the American people. We wouldn’t let a doctor to operate on patients without test results, and we shouldn’t let Congressmembers make policy – especially about immigration – without understanding the reality on the ground.

“I’ve talked about the trauma and abuse children are facing from CBP and ICE, but today showed me just how deep the injustice and outrage goes. Mothers, fathers, even grandparents, living in despicable, inhumane conditions, all because we have a White House that delights in cruelty and racism.

“I saw children who are not with their parents or any type of family be held by CPB folks who were never trained for this and they don't seem to have any power to change it. I saw adults and children alike who have been forced to go without access to showers, clean water sources, and nutrition and medical care – all because of the color of their skin and where they were born.

“I am heartbroken that our government treats a single human being like this, let alone thousands. I saw a pregnant woman who should be getting prenatal care instead languishing in this facility. I saw a young boy who looked to be three or four years old, who kept asking me ‘Where is Papa?’ through a glass door. It is sickening that human beings are being held in these conditions, and that CBP and ICE agents think it’s just a big joke. When a woman asked for water, she was told by agents of our federal government to drink it from the toilet.

“The system is broken and no amount of money will fix it. We need to adopt a humane immigration and asylum process and pass real immigration reform. It is my duty as a Congresswoman, and an American, to raise hell until immigrants seeking safety and a better life are treated with dignity, respect, and see their human rights protected.”