Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess has not visited the Border Patrol detention facility in Clint, TX, where children were reportedly kept in such poor condition that the government finally relocated hundreds of them to a new site. Nevertheless, in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Monday evening, Burgess insisted that despite reports of appalling conditions for the detained children, and video of a government lawyer arguing against having to provide basic necessities like soap and toothbrushes for kids in their care, everything at these facilities—whatever you do, don’t call them concentration camps!—is peachy keen.
If it weren’t, Burgess claimed, the kids would simply leave.
“You know what? There’s not a lock on the door,” Burgess told Hayes, explaining that he’d visited the infamous Casa Padre detention center. “Any child is free to leave at anytime, but they don’t. You know why? Because they are well taken care of.” (Actually, children have left Casa Padre, and the facility has locked its doors to prevent senators and other observers from getting in.)
Asked to explain the multiple reports of horrific conditions experienced by the children in Border Patrol custody, Burgess went full-blown truther, saying, “I don’t know if it’s hyperbole,” but that “the hatred for this president is so intense, that people are liable to say anything.”
Conversely, the willingness to see migrant children as somehow less than human, and therefore unworthy of basic necessities is so intense, that people are liable to say anything.