Democrat Jeff Merkley Tries to Storm Detention Center to Livestream Migrant Children

Sen. Merkley Barred Entry

The White House is slamming Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) after he attempted to film detained children caught at the border at a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) facility.

Over the weekend, Merkley arrived at a detention facility in Brownsville, Texas, while live broadcasting the appearance on Facebook. When he arrived at the facility, he claimed that he was blocked from entering the facility where unaccompanied minors caught at the border are held.

Merkley made multiple accusations against the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement. In one claim, he said the detention facilities were “secretive” and insinuated that Trump had “deliberately inflicted cruelty on children.”

As Breitbart News reported, the Trump administration’s policy is to prosecute all border crossers, including illegal alien parents who cross the border with their children. This policy results in border-crossing parents having their children taken into federal custody.

Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Merkley was denied access because he was trying to film unaccompanied minors, which would be a major privacy violation.

An HHS official told Breitbart News:

United States Senator Jeff Merkley, along with five other individuals, attempted to enter an unaccompanied alien children’s (UAC) shelter unannounced and broadcast live via social media last night in Texas. [Emphasis added]

Thankfully for the safety, security and dignity of the children being cared for there, they were denied access. The Department of Health and Human Services takes the legal mandate to care for these children seriously. No one who arrives unannounced at one of our shelters demanding access to the children in our care will be permitted, even those claiming to be U.S. Senators. [Emphasis added]

Senator Merkley should respect the UAC program and engage in the appropriate processes, as many of his colleagues have done before him, to visit ORR facilities. We would welcome him to engage in that process so that he may visit the facility to make headway on this important issue, rather than just headlines. [Emphasis added]

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley told Breitbart News that Merkley is “spreading blatant lies” about immigration enforcement and slammed his support of open borders.

In Merkley’s own district, a 65-year-old Oregon woman was sexually assaulted by an illegal alien who was deported 20 times, and a young girl was allegedly raped multiple times by an illegal alien who had already been deported twice.

“Senator Merkley is irresponsibly spreading blatant lies about routine immigration enforcement while smearing hardworking, dedicated law enforcement officials at ICE and CBP,” Gidley said. “

“He voted against closing the ‘catch-and-release’ loopholes used by child smugglers, and his reckless open borders policies are responsible for the permanent separation of thousands of American families who have been forced to bury their loved ones,” Gidley continued. “No one is taking a public safety lecture from Sen. Merkley, whose own policies endanger children, empower human smugglers and drug cartels, and allow violent criminal aliens to flood into American communities.”

In a 2014 poll, a majority of swing voters and GOP voters said that even migrants described as “children” should be deported “as soon as possible,” as Breitbart News’s Neil Munro reported at the time. The poll indicated that in the midst of this border crisis, Americans by a majority support tougher than usual border policies.

As Breitbart News reported, unaccompanied minors arriving at the southern border and being resettled across the U.S. have cost American taxpayers billions of dollars. Last year, alone, unaccompanied minors cost taxpayers $1.4 billion to house and provide welfare for them.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.  


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