Dem Rep. Sanchez: Not ‘Appropriate’ for Journalists to See Inside Border Facilities Holding Children

Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) Thursday on CNN’s “Newsroom” that it was not appropriate for journalists to be inside centers that are housing the surge of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Anchor Poppy Harlow asked, “My last question is so transparency … All of our reporters down there have been asking nonstop to get into these facilities where Alejandro Mayorkas said are not meant for children. Are you concerned over the lack of transparency?”

Sanchez said, “I will tell you under the Trump administration, members of Congress were not allowed inside these facilities.”

Harlow interjected, “But that doesn’t mean anything now, respectfully congresswoman. Clearly, you were upset about that lack of transparency. Are you concerned about this lack of transparency?”

Sanchez said, “Sure. Well, again, when you ever have the numbers and the facilities appropriate for children, but because of COVID protocols, you have to have social distancing. So they are trying to process children as quickly as they can, and, no, these detention facilities at the border were not meant for children. Children are meant to be in licensed facilities. But because of the numbers and because of the social distancing that is required, they are doing the best that they can. I don’t necessarily think that it is appropriate for journalists to be inside centers that are not permanent places for children, that children are not placed there permanently. They are processed out of those facilities as quickly as possible and as quickly as the facilities will allow.”

Harlow pressed, “Some of them are being held there longer than they are legally supposed to be.”

Sanchez said, “They are doing the best they can under COVID protocols. If it were not a pandemic, I would totally understand the concern, but we’re dealing in a unique set of circumstances that are unprecedented. You can’t fault an administration that is doing everything humanly possible to treat these kids in a humane way given the limitations that they have because of COVID.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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