A handful Democratic members of Congress will tour two South Texas family detention centers run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Rep. Joaquin Castro and seven other Democratic lawmakers will tour the Karnes County Residential Center today. Tomorrow, the delegation will visit the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley.
Castro has been one of the most vocal opponents of detaining immigrant families. He and 135 other Democrats sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in late May asking him to end the department’s use of family detention facilities. Johnson toured the Karnes County facility last week.
“Women and children fleeing violence and abuse who come to America looking for safety are not hardened criminals, they’re refugees,” Castro said in the letter. “We should treat them with compassion, make legal processes available, and find alternatives to detention centers that are appropriate and effective.”
The delegation, which includes House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., will hold a press conference at Castro’s office tonight to discuss their visit to the facilities.