Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) spent Father’s Day in Texas, visiting a border patrol processing center and two detention centers, to see firsthand what was happening to families crossing from Mexico into the United States.
He spoke with a woman from Guatemala who did not know where her 12-year-old daughter was and other women whose children had been moved to facilities in New York and Florida.
Not only are children being separated from their parents, but brothers and sisters are also separated from each other, as the detention facilities are not co-ed, he said.
Van Hollen traveled with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Or.). They were prohibited by Homeland Security from taking photos and talking with anyone besides those who had been approved, he said.
Listening to the mothers’ anguish and seeing 1,200 children age 10 and older lying down, all covered in the same shiny silver blankets that often are used by marathoners after they finish their race, was “gut-wrenching,” he said.
“This trip confirmed my worst fears about what was happening. It was even worse than I thought.”