CHICAGO (CBS) — President Donald Trump says he only has two options for immigration: separating children from their parents or open borders. While speaking at an event Tuesday, President Trump called for Congress to come up with a third option.
CBS’s David Begnaud has been following the story from McAllen, Texas.
He spoke with CBS 2’s Irika Sargent about his experience at the border.
Sargent: “David, you’ve gone on ride-alongs with border patrol today. Are you seeing migrants being stopped and children separated down there?”
Begnaud: “In fact, Irika, we saw it within the first ten minutes of leaving a processing facility here in Mcallen, Texas. We were working on a story for the CBS Evening News, which you will see tonight. Within ten minutes of leaving here we came upon a group of ten people who had just been detained. We saw them sitting on a levy road. They had been given bottles of water by border patrol that was asking them questions. They almost seemed to be relieved – relieved because they reached the U.S. One agent said to me even though they’ve been detained, they looked relieved because it was worth the risk.”
Sargent: “David, we’ve seen images coming from the government of the boys that have been coming from there. I know you and others have been questioning ‘where are the girls? The toddlers?’ Are you getting any more information about where they’re being sent and what is actually happening with them?”
Begnaud: “No, we haven’t. For the last 72 hours we have asked the Department of Human Services ‘Where are you transporting girls and toddlers who you are separating from families?’ We cannot get an answer. We don’t know what’s happening. We know that in West Texas there’s a facility where they’ve set up tents where boys are being sent. But where are the girls and the toddlers going? We can’t get an answer from the United States government.”
The revelation that more than 2,300 children were separated from adults at the U.S. border with Mexico in just five weeks quickly led to a firestorm of condemnation, while federal officials have been defending their policy, and criticizing the media’s coverage of it.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen has accused the media of “misreporting” and argued that these detentions are not the result of new policies, but just the continuation of initiatives started by the previous presidential administration.