"We begin with a federal judge blocking the Trump administration's policy that would keep thousands of asylum seekers locked up indefinitely while they wait for their cases to be decided," MSNBC's Willie Geist said.
"A U.S. district court judge in Seattle ruled yesterday the order was unconstitutional, violating migrant's Fifth Amendment right to due process. The judge is saying the government must give asylum seekers bond hearings within seven days or release them. This, after attorney general William Barr announced in April the U.S. would no longer offer bond hearings to asylum seekers and would instead keep them in custody as part of the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal border crossings.
"The judge's decision comes as the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security warns of, quote, 'dangerous overcrowding' at migrant facilities in Texas. These images come from a new report by government investigators who made unannounced inspections at five border patrol facilities and two ports of entries in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas during the week of June 10th.
"Investigators there found children at the facilities did not have access to showers. They had to sleep on concrete floors. It also reported single adults being held in standing-room-only conditions for days, along with serious concerns about health risks. According to the report, senior managers at several facilities raised security concerns for their agents and for the detainees, one calling the situation a ticking time bomb.
"The acting DHS inspector general wrote in the report, quote, 'We encourage the Department of Homeland Security to take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and to stop prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley.' A group of congressional lawmakers visited detention center for unaccompanied children in Homestead, Florida. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson vowed to stay there until she could see and speak to the young girls being held inside the facility. Another member of Congress said he was bothered by the lack of education available to the children. This marked the second straight day of lawmakers inspecting government facilities. On Monday, several members of Congress toured border patrol stations in Texas.
"Here's what some of them told MSNBC about that experience," Geist said.
"As soon as they realized that we were congress members, tears were rolling down their faces as they talked about their conditions. They said that they have no idea when they were going to leave. They have been there over 50 days. They said that they have been separated from their children," said Rep. Judy Chu.
"There was a point where one of the women who was Cuban, she spoke some English, and in front of all of us, many of the legislators and also several CBP, officers she challenged them very directly and said that they were not telling the truth about the standard of care and the treatment, and she said that some of the agents had had used derogatory words, language against the women," Rep. Joaquin Castro said.
"We saw a little boy, he must have been 4 years old. they locked up the kids at Clint so that members of Congress could not talk to them, and so they locked these kids up. This little boy saw us. He ran up to the plexiglass, put his hands up as he he wanted to touch us, and you could tell by his mouth he was asking for his dad. It's heartbreaking," said Rep. Nanette Barragan.
"So those are members of Congress giving eyewitness accounts of what they saw. Nancy Pelosi, after hearing the inspector general's report yesterday. said the report provides a shocking window into the dangerous and dehumanizing conditions the Trump Administration is inflicting on children and families, she said the inhumanity at the border is a challenge to the conscience of America."