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Ambassador Garza: Border patrol detention facilities unacceptable

Ambassador Antonio Garza discusses border patrol detention facilities, asylum procedures, and ICE raids. Watch on Fox Business

Quotes from the interview:

On detention facilities

“Sometime the best evidence is in plain sight and I think if you take a look at the Inspector General’s report and the border patrol detention facilities, in many cases it was simply unacceptable. They were the types of conditions that if children were being held anywhere in the U.S. in those kinds of conditions, the Child Protective Services would sweep in and take those children away from the parents. You have to look at what the facts are, the detention facilities were not built to hold the kinds of numbers we’re holding and for the lengths of time that many of these children and families are being held. I say look at the Inspector General’s report and it will give you some sense of what government inspectors were seeing in the conditions there.”

On who should feel more pressure to deal with this, the Trump Administration or Democratic Congress members

“I think the American public should be pressuring both sides. The Administration for over 18 months has dealt with this largely through enforcement. There has been a little, if any, Congressional actions on the underlying asylum procedures, reviewing those and perhaps legislation needing to address that. Secondly, I think we need to look at our policy in Central America. The Administration has chosen to cut foreign assistance, but perhaps there is something more that can be done with Congressional support working alongside Mexico to address some of those conditions in those countries. And thirdly, it’s time to look at our overall immigration law, streamline some of it and make it more consistent with the needs of the United States today.”

On weekend ICE raid announcement

“First, as you know, this was initially announced as a June initiative and later called off at the request of ICE officials who were concerned about broadcasting these sorts of efforts and the kind of situation that it might put ICE officers in. I think that’s still the case, when you announce this sort of sweep you put your officers in a little bit more challenging situation. Secondly, the targets, the asylum applicants that did not appear for their hearing, there’s some question as to whether they were properly noticed. And thirdly, will the sweeps target beyond those with existing deportation orders to the larger undocumented community generally and there you raise questions of capacity for detention and separation of families, so there’s some real challenges that they’ll face this weekend.”


Ambassador Antonio Garza served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2002 to 2009. He currently serves as Counsel in the Mexico City office of White & Case LLP. Additionally, Ambassador Garza is Chairman of Vianovo Ventures, a management consultancy with a focus on cross-border business development.


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