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Joaquin Castro Ignored Requests to Relinquish His Phone to Record Video of Detained Migrants at Border Facility

Texas State Representative Jaoquin Castro beginning a Keynote Speech.
Texas State Representative Jaoquin Castro beginning a Keynote Speech. April 2010. (Photo: Jaoquin Castro)

“People have to speak up and they have to take action,” Castro said of his decision to release footage of women detained in an El Paso border facility. “This was about shining a light on what’s going on.”

(By Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune) U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro has no regrets for going rogue on Trump administration officials.

On Monday, the San Antonio Democrat released videos and photos of a Congressional delegation’s tour of an El Paso detention facility that drew more attention to the treatment of migrants detained at the U.S. border. In order to record the images and footage, Castro ignored directives from U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees to the delegation turn over their phones before the tour of an El Paso Border facility.

“They’re trying to keep things secret,” Castro said in an interview with the Tribune about the Trump administration. “[The reason] things don’t change is because these conditions are kept secret. People have to speak up and they have to take action. This was about shining a light on what’s going on.”

A video Castro tweeted Monday of U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, communicating in Spanish with female migrants had been viewed more than 1.6 million times and retweeted more than 21,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon. In the video, the women complain about needing medical treatment. Castro said that some of the women also said that agents were using derogatory language toward the migrants.

When the delegation arrived at the El Paso facility, administration officials told the legislators they would not be allowed to take photographs or speak with the detainees, citing “a tight schedule,” Castro recalled.

“That’s our decision,” Castro said, citing the legislative branch’s oversight responsibilities.

“We challenged them. We asked them what law doesn’t allow us to document what’s going on,” he said. “They couldn’t tell us what law keeps us from doing that.”

He quickly drew the conclusion that the directive was more of a courtesy request, one that Castro decided he couldn’t grant.

“The stakes are way too high to abide by this courtesy,” he said.

A CPB official told The Washington Post that photos were prohibited for security purposes and to protect the privacy of the migrants. But Castro said the migrants “asked us to make public that they needed help. … They asked us for help getting the word.”

“It’s hard for me to believe that when our government is letting people go 15 days without a shower and keeping them in cramped cells, that anybody is concerned about their privacy,” he said.

Castro took care to underscore that the agents “were professional.”

“I don’t want to give the impression they were rude,” he said. “But they’re trying to lay down the law and say this is how it’s going to be, and you can’t even cite a law.”

That same day, Castro and other elected officials visited a border station in Clint and a facility in El Paso for children operated by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus organized Monday’s trip after a public outcry prompted by reports of squalid conditions at the Clint facility.

On Monday evening, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a picture taken by Castro of herself with the women.

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Citizen Truth republishes articles with permission from a variety of news sites, advocacy organizations and watchdog groups. We choose articles we think will be informative and of interest to our readers. Chosen articles sometimes contain a mixture of opinion and news, any such opinions are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of Citizen Truth.

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1 Comment

  1. Brian July 5, 2019

    Jul 4, 2019 Democrats Now Actively Assisting Illegal Immigration, Campaign In Mexico

    Cory Booker accompanied illegal immigrants into the US recently. The story is a bit complicated, the women had previously been sent back to Mexico under the Migration Protection Policy and according to the Washington Examiner were seeking to bypass the law to gain entry to the US.



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