- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2019

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Sunday defended his agency’s performance against mounting claims that illegal immigrants are being detained in inhumane conditions at the border.

Mr. McAleenan said in particular, reports of unsanitary and overcrowded conditions at the Clint detention facility in Texas were unsubstantiated.

“There’s adequate food and water,” he told ABC’s This Week. “The facility is cleaned every day.”

Mr. McAleenan also said he was initially “not aware” of a private Facebook group involving current of former Customs and Border Protection agents, where, insensitive offensive or disparaging messages about illegal immigrants and Democrats in Congress were shared.

“The agents will be held accountable if they’re CBP employees who did inappropriate things,” he said.

Democratic lawmakers and news reports have painted a dire picture of the agency’s performance, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez likening detention facilities to “concentration camps” and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer calling for a shakeup of leadership at the border agency.

Some Democrats voted against the $4.6 billion emergency package President Trump signed into law this week to deal with the migrant crisis, saying it won’t make a difference.

“Three agents took me aside, away from my colleagues, and said more money is not going to fix this,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, told ABC.

The Trump administration has defended its approach and says Congress should make legislative changes that reduce the incentives drawing record numbers of illegal immigrant families to jump the border.

“It’s an extraordinarily challenging situation,” Mr. McAleenan said. “We’ve been talking about this, we’ve been asking for help.”

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