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Congresswoman Says ICE Is Detaining Migrants In Bad Conditions To Save Space For Raids

She says ICE refused to move migrants who were being detained when they could.

CNN's New Day interviewed Rep. Veronica Escobar as a lead-in to today's congressional hearings on the treatment of migrants.

"One of the things you said, and this is taking place, mind you, two days before raids that we're being told by the administration that will be conducted on Sunday, which will target some 2,000 undocumented migrants in the country, you have said, 'in El Paso, I've seen single adults held outdoors sleeping on rocks under the heat, under tarps. What's clear is ICE have been able to conduct these raids because they've been keeping beds open for the planned raids. The inhumane conditions in El Paso was a choice by ICE,' " John Berman said.

"What proof do you have ICE. has emptied out these beds for the raids?"

"What we've asked over and over again from border officials, when I've gone in with my staff or myself or with members of Congress, we've had ten congressional El Paso visits. But when we've seen hundreds of people, just a month ago I saw about 250 mostly men, Cuban outside under these tarps in the conditions I described in that tweet you just read. And I asked border patrol, why aren't you all moving them? This should be a temporary processing facility. Why are they being held? They will tell me point blank, 'We're waiting for ICE. We can't move them until ICE accepts them,' Escobar said.

"And ICE is telling us there's not enough beds. Yet we know there are empty facilities. I mean it's -- I'm not an advocate for detention, long-term detention or forty migrants like criminals, but my God, get them out from these conditions and indoors. I'll give you another example. There's the shell game that we all have to kind of figure out as members of Congress try to understand what's going on. The week before we went to Clint, the congressional delegation went to Clint last week, my staff was at one of the facilities, there were over 200 women outdoors. When we visited the facility as a delegation, they had all been moved. There is an ability to move folks. It's a choice. ICE really has a lot of control right now, but I believe the reason they're keeping many of their facilities empty is to make room for the interior raids.

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