FEMA Laments: Abandoned Children Forced to Share Toilets, Eat Microwaved Food
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate lamented that the unaccompanied minors who were initially detained by the federal government were clearly suffering before his agency was allowed to help with the border crisis.
“I don't approach this as ‘These are acronyms,’” he said during the hearing.
“We have very, very small children who, early in this process, were spending far too long in a detention cell, sharing a toilet, and eating food that was microwaved because that's all the agents could provide in the initial push,” he said.
Fugate said that Americans should remember that the children were all “somebody’s child” and should be treated with compassion.
“Until we have enough capacity to ensure that these children are not kept in detention, that there's a bed, medical care, decent food, a shower, clean clothes -- we fail these children,” he added.
Fugate defended President Obama’s funding request to properly care for the children, particularly for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
“That has been my focus, and that will continue to be the focus until such time as we have stabilized this,” he said.
Fugate’s remarks drew a response from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who pointed out that it was also important to stop the children from entering the country in the first place.
“We’re a compassionate society. We understand these are children. We want to show true compassion,” Johnson said, adding: “I think the point that a lot of us are making here today is true compassion really would be to prevent this from happening, to actually attack the root cause.”