Mayor de Blasio turned away from detained migrant children's facility in Texas

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, June 22, 2018
Mayor de Blasio turned away from detained migrant children's facility in Texas
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Josh Einiger has more on Mayor de Blasio's trip to the border in Texas.

TORNILLO, Texas (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio and mayors from more than a dozen other U.S. cities gathered near a holding facility for migrant children on the Texas border with Mexico -- and were turned away from going inside.

The New York City mayor and his counterparts from Los Angeles, Seattle and beyond pilgrimaged to the Tornillo facility Thursday to push for the immediate reunification of migrant children with their families, even as President Donald Trump ordered a halt to the policy separating them.

The mayors requested access to the detention center, which can hold up to 4,000, so they could inspect the conditions inside. De Blasio's visit comes just one day after learning more than 200 separated children were taken to a facility in East Harlem.

Even though de Blasio was denied, he said he sees this as a chance to make a point.

"The problem with the whole equation is there's no honesty from the federal government, no effort to openly tell people what's going on, and we have no reason to trust," he said outside the facility.

A day after Trump's executive order, the government has revealed little information about how it will treat families moving forward or what will happen to more than 2,300 already in the system, some of whose parents have already been deported.

"If we don't demand answers, if we don't demand to know those kids are OK, we're letting down those kids, we're letting down everyone," de Blasio said.

De Blasio said he hasn't heard of a plan for how to reunite the 239 migrant children in New York City with their parents. He said if it has to, the city government will help make those families whole.

First Lady Melania Trump said she will make the reunification process her priority during a meeting with detained children in McAllen, Texas, Thursday. First daughter Ivanka Trump also tweeted about her focus on "swiftly and safely" uniting families.

The mixed messages continue. In a Cabinet meeting Thursday, the president himself was back to blaming Democrats for a policy he's already rescinded.

"People are suffering because of the Democrats," Trump said. "So we've created and they've created and they've let it happen. A massive child smuggling industry is exactly what it's become."

MORE: Protestors demonstrate at LaGuardia Airport after learning seperated children were housed in NYC


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