Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass slammed President Trump and his administration over the treatment of children inside border detention facilities, calling it “torture.”
According to the New York Times and other outlets, children have been deprived of basic resources like water, soap and toothpaste, and teens have been forced to care for younger toddlers separated from adults. The Trump administration has blamed Democrats in Congress for refusing to sign off on additional resources for migrants.
During an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Bass, D-Calif., condemned the conditions and accused Trump of a “deliberate” effort to keep children in squalor in order to force Democrats to support a new border security funding bill.
“You cannot tell me that the federal government does not have money for toothpaste and soap,” said Bass, a member of the Judiciary Committee and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
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“This is inflicted on children as punishment to try to bring Democrats to the table to compromise on the border wall.”
Bass went on to say that families are still being separated at the border despite President Trump’s assertion that the policy has been abandoned.
She added that the treatment of young migrants at the border is a “human rights abuse” and a “stain on our country.”
“How dare you torture children to try to get a compromise out of Democrats? I am sorry, but hearing about children walking around in soiled diapers, hearing about children taking care of toddlers, you are talking about straight-up child abuse, and I think that this needs to be condemned internationally,” she continued.
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Bass said that Democrats are struggling to reach a compromise with the administration on border funding because they want to ensure that money will go to improving the conditions for migrants and want to address the roots of the immigration issue.