Fox & Friends gives platform to guest who insists the border detention facilities where children are locked up are just fine, contrary to media and government reports of disturbing conditions
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From the July 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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GRIFF JENKINS (GUEST CO-HOST): Before Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez visited the Clint border facility on Monday making those explosive claims, a group of pastors visited the same Clint, TX, facility on Friday and they have a drastically different take on the conditions. Joining us now in studio is one of those pastors from Redemption to the Nations Church, Pastor Kevin Walsh. Pastor, let's be clear about something, there is a unbelievable surge at the border, and so facilities that are usually holding about 4 to 500 are holding well in excess of 1,000, sometimes 2,000. It's not a good situation. But, based on what you saw, is it the same as what the congresswoman says?
KEVIN WALSH (PASTOR, REDEMPTION TO THE NATIONS CHURCH): So let's be clear, we definitely need to do what we can to improve the living situations there. But the pastors and I that walked through that detention center, first of all, we saw a clean place, a safe place, a place stocked with food. And the idea that abuse was going on there is something that we just didn't find any sign of. In fact, the border agents that we met were very kind, considerate, compassionate people. And so we were kind of astounded at the report and the reality that we experienced as we walked through the Clint facility.
JENKINS: The deputy commissioner of the CBP told me that they hold their agents to the highest standards of conduct. What did you see in there? Was that standard being held in the facility you were in?
WALSH: Yeah. You know, we saw bins of toys that the actual agents had brought for the kids to play with. I saw stacks of movies that were personal movies that the agents brought for the kids to watch. We saw agents holding children. This motion that there was abuse and, again, outlandish behavior going on by these agents was just not -- it was not just something that we saw anywhere in any room at any time on that premise. There was no sign whatsoever of that kind of behavior.
JENKINS: And Pastor, what you saw in terms of overcrowding, it was bad?
WALSH: Yeah. And, again, let's be clear, this is not an ideal situation. This is not what we would want for these precious, beautiful children who are in this very, very difficult situation. We would want to improve that, but again, we went in as an intervention because of the report that we had read. I went with Dr. Sam Rodriguez from the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. So we went in to see what was going on to see if there is anything we could do to help these children. And while there are certainly improvements that we could make and should make, and hopefully will make now that we have appropriated the money from Congress, there was just not a minuscule speck of evidence of abuse of any kind going on in that detention center.
JENKINS: Specifically two quick points of the congresswoman's attacks, one, did you see anything that would lend itself to a racism charge and, two, did you see anyone drinking or being told to drink from toilets?
WALSH: Absolutely no on the racism. And the reason is because the agents there are, first of all, most of them were Latino brothers and sisters. And the notion that there was this racism is not founded anywhere. And the idea that anyone was drinking out of a toilet, totally absurd.
JENKINS: Pastor, we're almost out of time, quickly, is it your conclusion then that the congresswoman is not being honest about her depiction of what she saw?
WALSH: Well here's the deal. The congresswoman is entitled to her opinion. But her opinion should never shape the truth. The truth doesn't have a side. The truth stands on its own. And people with integrity have got to make up their mind to stand on the side of truth. And the facts that we saw were there.