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Pence tours migrant facility as Democrats decry conditions

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Friday (July 12) toured a migrant holding facility in Texas, in an effort to counter criticisms from Democrats about conditions in those facilities.

As Pence emerged from the first of two facilities he visited, he said, “This is very tough stuff.” He defended the treatment of migrants saying, “Every family that I spoke to told me that they were being well cared for, and different than some of the harsh rhetoric that we hear from Democrats on Capitol Hill.”

The Trump administration has increased pressure on the governments of Mexico and several Central American countries to stem the flow of migrants reaching the U.S. border.

Trump is expected to meet with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales at the White House on Monday for talks on immigration and security. Morales may sign an agreement with Trump declaring Guatemala a safe destination for asylum seekers, which could prevent many from applying in the United States, according to officials in both governments.

Alongside these international efforts, U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to deter border crossings with highly publicized crack-downs in the United States.

ICE will target families whose immigration cases were handled through an expedited court process that began in 2018, the acting ICE director said last month.

The agency has notified about 2,000 of those people that they face deportation because they failed to appear in court, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said last month.

ICE has declined to discuss the weekend’s operation, including whether those families are among those being targeted.

(Production: Deborah Lutterbeck)

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