The Latest: Booker visits Mexico to see asylum seekers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the treatment of migrants detained after crossing the southern border (all times local):
Cory Booker has crossed back over the southern border after traveling to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to meet with migrants attempting to seek asylum in the United States.
Booker is the second 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to visit Juarez, after former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke made the trip Sunday, also to help draw attention to President Donald Trump’s immigration agenda, which they and other Democrats have harshly criticized.
Booker, a New Jersey senator, is expected to speak from El Paso about his trip across the border on Wednesday. He took the trip in order to personally witness migrants attempting to seek asylum with U.S. border officials.
Booker released a detailed immigration plan last week that would use executive orders to undo much of the Trump administration’s immigration detention policies.
President Donald Trump is defending the treatment of migrants at border detention facilities amid growing outrage over unsanitary and crowded conditions.
Trump says in a series of tweets that, “Our Border Patrol people are not hospital workers, doctors or nurses” and he compliments them on their efforts.
He claims that, “Many of these illegals aliens are living far better now” than they were where they came from, and says that, “No matter how good things actually look,” Democrats who visit Border Patrol facilities “will act shocked & aghast at how terrible things are” because they’re seeking political gain.
The administration has been under fire for the overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, as described by lawmakers and U.S. government inspectors who have visited the facilities.
Trump says if migrants are unhappy with the conditions, “just tell them not to come. All problems solved!”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants President Donald Trump to fire the head of the federal Customs and Border Protection Agency. And two House committees are planning hearings on the treatment of thousands of migrants held after crossing the southern border.
It’s all part of a shift by congressional Democrats away from a $4.6 billion bill aimed at improving conditions for detained migrants that ended up pitting liberals against moderates in the party.
Instead, Democrats are focusing on the often overcrowded and unsanitary facilities where the migrants are being kept. They’re also expressing outrage about a Facebook group for Border Patrol agents that includes facetious remarks about migrants dying in U.S. custody.
Schumer says Border Patrol acting chief Mark Morgan and other agency leaders are callous.