Mike Pence tour of migrant centre shows men crowded in cages

'This is tough stuff': U.S. VP acknowledges hardships at border detention centre

Vice president tours detention facilities at the border, disagrees with 'harsh rhetoric' about treatment

"Today we took reporters to a detention facility on the border for families and children and all told us they were being treated well." he tweeted before adding, "Rather than broadcast the full story, showing the compassionate care the American people are providing to vulnerable families, tonight CNN only played video of men in the temporary facility and didn't play any footage of the family facility at all".

"Every family I spoke to said they were being well cared for", Pence said, decrying the "harsh rhetoric" of Democrats.

"The real answer here is not more detention", Pence said. It's a tent-like facility that detains about 1,000 migrants.

"I knew we'd see a system that was overwhelmed".

President Donald Trump said earlier Friday that he had dispatched Pence to the border to dispel reports of dire conditions at the migrant detention centres. In one room, the intake facility, a crowd that appeared to be more than 100 people sat on benches.

Pence sought to deliver that message during his trip here, saying "I couldn't be more impressed" with the work being done by the Customs and Border Protection agents.

Vice President Pence visited a migrant detention facility in McAllen, Tex., on July 12.

Firing back, a quartet of Republicans from border states told the same panel that Democrats weren't doing anything to ease the crisis and blamed them for posturing that one said was aimed at "Twitter followers and cynical politics".

He said they were given three hot meals a day from local restaurants, as well as juice and crackers.

The facility, an air-conditioned tent complex, opened in early May on the border about 20 miles from McAllen and just yards from an worldwide bridge connecting the United States to Mexico.

For example, last month almost 300 migrant children were removed from a border facility in Texas after reports of lawyers describing "appalling" and potentially risky conditions surfaced, according to NBC News.

At a subsequent news conference, Pence said: "Look, this is tough stuff". After taking the unusual step of asking to be sworn in before testifying - something not required of the lawmakers - Ocasio-Cortez said when some of the women being held at the facility said they were told to drink from a toilet because the sink was broken, "I believe these women".

The hearing came as the number of families, children and other migrants entering the USA from Mexico has surged above 100,000 monthly since March, overwhelming federal agencies' ability to detain them in sanitary conditions or move them quickly to better housing.

The group toured a processing center and met with border officials.

Numerous families there were to be released within 72 hours.

Though Pence's office also extended invitations to Senate Democrats for the Friday visit, none were in attendance, underscoring the highly politicized situation as the humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border unfolds. Squalid conditions at border facilities have drawn widespread concern as the migrant flow across the border has surged to more 100,000 per month this year, at times overwhelming the US immigration system.

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