Children at the border being held in 'appalling' conditions

The humanitarian crisis at the border continues to intensify, plus Iran slams new U.S. sanctions.
27:09 | 06/25/19

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Transcript for Children at the border being held in 'appalling' conditions
And didn't. Happy Tuesday welcome to the briefing room coming to from the Washington bureau ABC news I'm Jan San Suu Kyi. A busy Tuesday with you and we are gonna start on a story that. Does not seem to be slowing down immigration what is happening on the border what is happening in these facilities across the Texas border. Involving so many children we're hearing the numbers they are just staggering 300 moved from a facility overnight. Because of horrible conditions lights on overnight no food no water no cleaning products. Its story that we just can't wrap our heads around I want a good ABC's Jim Hall beloved who is down on the ground he's outside. That facility we've been learning so much about overnight downing Clint Texas Jim I know you in the team we're trying to get into the facility to figure out what. Is it happening on the ground what have you in the teens seen so far. Well we are standing in front this is pretty much. We'll leave you were getting of the infamous facility here. You see once in awhile some Border Patrol folks going in and out. Sign welcoming anybody in and we've been asking. For days now for access to this location and not been allowed access the only people have been allowed again. Are the lawyer. Who represented. Children inside of this facility. And they're the ones who first came outside windows horror stories and in fact they asked the Border Patrol to allow them to bring a pediatrician it. The Border Patrol said no liquors customs of war. But the lawyers have threatened legal action and in fact they did allow and a pediatrician from Brownsville Texas to command. She told us. I'm so dirty that they have no access to so we're. Based that they in fact issue says that John word had trouble sleeping because the lights were on 24 hours today. And not dim DeForest sleep at night these are kids and this what was going on here. Gadget Jim I mean then that this stories are just are just horrible what we're hearing you mentioned the pediatrician you're. Longtime colleague Serena Marshall in mind. Of course Botha that pediatrician over the weekend she detailed. That story for us here yesterday. But Jim I'm curious to know one of the images that we. Our fight today was the Texas Tribune. Showed a good samaritan trying to bring goods. 21 of the facilities down they are turned away. Are you seeing anybody around the silly people there are just. Curious trying to see what's happening in science. Occasionally you'll CEO honking your. Hornsby and but I think the messages out at the Border Patrol. We've border protection agency it's not accepting any of those nations. It's against their policy so even though we're independent insurance listening and and there's only blankets that are it was aluminum tonight. And agencies not accepting any donations. So people are not coming anymore mostly they were coming over the weekend and were turned away. We've we've we've had a briefing this morning. Who went by people from the agency would not allow themselves and they deny that there's any. Moon. When listening. Or have you back here. Over the weekend and last night back into the facility they're here again and they claim the administration claims that there's plenty of resources there are despite what the independent reserve. Observers saw. And of course questions now mounting Jim as we sort it. Acting head of customs Border Patrol stepped down earlier Tait John Sanders Jim I know they you in the team working on this I know you're gonna have more on world news nine up online abcnews.com. So keep us posted and thank you for checking us. If you wanna switch gears here though because humans is mentioning there that some. Good samaritans have been trying to of these facilities was a mention we soared to cover of the Texas Tribune. From earlier this morning I want to bring in one of those marriages name is Austin savage he would try to get into that facility so many people are talking about down in Texas he joins us now. Austin thanks for taking a moment to speak with us I appreciated. Guinea is cents Austin. Eight why did you want to go to one of these facilities and what supplies were you trying to break. Come down no problem police have been me I'm. I mean he's that this action was just simply it's just a response to which a current you know. It's a reactive act and you know we would. We were reading about these news stories. The conditions that these these children I mean their child tried. Our own that these children we're we're put in and you know it. The idea that would that we couldn't provide for them just obviously made no sense so. We we took diapers and baby wipes and just. Toiletries basic necessities. Our own so that the excuse. That the supplies were not available you know couldn't do this arm unfortunately when we arrived but he entire facility. Com and as Jim mentioned was pretty much on block bound armed there's no responses there is. How blind apparent clear some assistance all mine. That you could call but no one answers on that. And and pretty much we were outside wish. On the supplies and the only activity winners. Eight opening and closing in vehicles moving in and out. Armed there were some agents in the cars who did cius mom. You know and that they refuse to acknowledge this we try to get their attention I mean even just asks simple questions but they has. No desire to interacts which bus to. And Austin I I know he east go to our producer Victoria before joining us and and you told her. State you had gone dropped this flies off and then gone back see what happened in noticed everything was still there. Well a bomb interestingly enough when we arrived there was a small. Bag that had been less Harlem. Before us you know and it is a little note there and you know and we. We were unsure it would win. We were there and obviously we're getting no response and we were unsure as as to what to do our home whether we could leave them there and they would be passed on so we actually packed the things up it went back the next day. Com and stand. When we showed back up we went Sunday initially we went back yesterday and we showed back up yesterday we had the exact same. The exact same scenario played out the facility is on lockdown on we'll talk and you. Com and some of the supplies. We're still there are some had vanished overnight I'm not sure what happened to those our home but as for our art contribution. Com. We we actually just decided we wanted to make sure that even if we couldn't get them directly to GDP that day they would go to do its lead to couldn't. Arm to a nearby shelter concerned well it. Well we we acts we actually asked the C beating comment on now come what you did did down in Texas they told us quote we're using operational funding. To provide those things but those things are available now and they have been continuously they go on to tell us. We are looking at the possibility of using some of those those nations going forward but those item it's important to know are now available that's a statement. From customs and Border Patrol to ABC this afternoon Austin. Thank you for joining us and you know listen I I do hope it. Some of the supplies that you and your friends donated were able to get to someone that needed them. Thank you get half statistical. Thank you president trump was actually asked about this situation just moments ago in the Oval Office about the images about the stories coming out about what's happening to children in. These facilities take a listen for the presence in the Oval Office moments ago. We're moving some people around to different locations and the game has changed a lot because of what next. We'll do things we would do if we're. The problem with our. Border Patrol were from out of people with an it was okay with catch and release. Or little different things including chain migration. And the visa lottery to lawlessness open is silent rules and laws is okay. Border Patrol people who were so incredible are left to do did you. President trump speaking earlier today in the Oval Office there's also been. Some video that we've been seeing from earlier today I want to warn you. It is quite disturbing it shows a father and his eleven year old child. Trying to cross the border it's an image that is had so many of us today. Aghast at what is happening at the border. I do want to bring in ABC's John calling he's a contributor for us he's the former undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security. G John I'm sure you've seen this image I am I I don't know how anybody looks away from and to be honest it's. It's heartbreaking. What what's your thoughts on this John what's your thoughts what's happened the border right now. Well it is a heartbreaking image and its its wanna have a number of tragedies. That we're hearing about occurring at the southern border. That is illustrative of the fact that conditions. Over the past several years have deteriorating and they deteriorated significantly. The Los have been changed I don't I'm a little bit confused about what the president is saying because. The La that the Obama administration operated under the same law that are in effect today. Yes we are seeing a decrease in. Removals. Through the interior enforcement and we're seeing a dramatically worse situation at the southern border. There's a reason why the conditions have worsened. Are a combination of several factors. One conditions in the Central American countries where these people are coming from have worsened there's more violence is more poverty. The economy in the United States. Has strengthened. And that Serbs in the place where people want to come to be able to provide for their semi and has numbers begin to increase going back multiple months. They the federal government didn't do what it's done in past years which is bringing the US government. Different organizations together find resources and address the surged. And instead it the so instead you have a situation where CPP did not have the resources they need to deal with the situation. They're not getting the support from other federal government agencies that they need. And for some reason to exacerbate the situation a number of policies were put into place which actually made more difficult for people to be prop best. They were Seeking Asylum. In a protester to deter people from doing its. And not just added cities that conditions. John I'm cured I'm curious obviously you know boot before coming over and helping us understand these things you did have a long career the Department of Homeland Security. John Sanders the acting chief of customs and border virtual announced that he is stepping down what we're still trying to figure out the circumstances around his resignation. And if it had to do with what we're seeing down to border right now but I'm curious John. Obviously there are political appointees and then there are careers people who have been working at these agencies for sometime like. Many of the acting folks were seen ascend to these positions now is the president's unable to fill them. What are you hearing from perhaps former friends colleagues and viewers who are still there about the situation. By I think our and a large number of people there's a lot of frustration. There is expertise that exists within the Department of Homeland Security weathered and Customs and Border Protection rice. And they know how to handle the situation at the border and the big and in those agencies for a long period of time and they've dealt with surges in the past. They also do other very important thing to protect this country. And I think for many people they feel that the political agenda the administration. It is driving what's being done at the border vs. The advice and counsel those people who really understand operationally how to deal it's I think that's for some cotton a lot of frustration. It's definitely a story that we're gonna be continuing to watch and Jon Cohn we appreciate you as always helping us break it down thank you sir. You can find all the latest on this developing story company abcnews.com. And of course regret have a full report tonight on ABC's world news let's switch gears though. The president also taking heat on Iran is decision last because we know too. Call off a strike on Iran Danny announced yesterday that he was going to be placing new sanctions now the Iranian President has responded. And president of the United States is not exactly liking with the Iranian President had to say let's bring in two of our colleagues this one ABC's counterfeiting in. Is over at the State Department any BC's Meredith McGraw over at the White House merited let's start with you the president responding. To Iranian President who overnight. Basically move for lack of a better word attack. The mental fitness of the president of his administration. When we hear from president from today. Obliteration. That led the message that presidents from. Had for the Iranians this morning on Twitter it's the latest in a series of insults and threats between president Tron. In a radian leadership after of course president Connie sad. The White House is quote afflicted by mental retardation and said they are permanently closing doors to diplomacy now and a series of tweets this morning. President trumps that the statements were quote. Ignorant and insults scene and after you know brandish Cheaney US military might. Sad quote any attack by a ran on anything America and it will be met with great an overwhelming force in some area is overwhelming. Will mean. Of liberation. And present trump has sagged that he doesn't want a war here. He is open to negotiating in national security advisor John Bolton said the same thing but d.s. Suites here are really ramping things and seemed to contradict the message that the United States is potentially willing to negotiate. Let's go over to foggy bottom where Connor fan again as Connor you know the end is a response Iranian President said. They've you were trying to have a relationship here trying to have a dialogue. Why is she back weak sanctions. By the United States. Yeah that's right John the reviews actually say that the US is the one that is closed the door here are running in foreign ministers of odds are reef. Tweeting a short while ago that by leaving the nuclear deal the US said that they didn't want to negotiate. The president and his advisors at this point say that. They're trying to increase the pressure on Iran so much so that they'll come and talk and and negotiate a more comprehensive. Agreement but it's difficult to see how Iran would ever be willing to do that. And the US is close allies here so far continued to back Iran continue to say that they support. The Iran nuclear agreement and they want Iran to continue to abide by importantly we're coming up on a very key deadline that Iran is. Impose on itself really. They say that by Thursday if the Europeans. Do not do enough to make up for the US sanctions that they will begin to enriching uranium at. Levels above what is allowed in the deal. Connor fanning and over the State Department thank you and merit before we let you go we have a new white house Press Secretary. First Leno audience from tweeting out that Stephanie Grisham her longtime advisor and one of the last few people in the White House that they can say they are part of the original teams from. Taking over first Sarah Sanders Sanders of course announcing. Little over a week ago that she be stepping down after being with the president for a little over three years. Grisham Meredith is is someone that many of us in the press have come to knell of come to deal with. That's right it's sunny that you are threats when you're covering the campaign yourself and Chris Shannon joined the campaign and when he fifteen. She initially started in the west wing of the deputy Press Secretary under Sean Spicer that first step now three press secretaries this White House is seen. And then she she joined the east wing and bears she was part of that the First Lady is really close tighten it. Team I'm she's also been known for some of her fiery statements. And I mean who can forget and her pushing out helping to them the First Lady push out I had then deputy national security advisor mere Ricardo Powell. I'm her response to the first lady's. Very act can founding jacket when she went down to the border. But she isn't known figure here in the White House and like I said she's the third a Press Secretary that this White House is seen now in just two and a half. Years he and and and are rare person in the White House to have the trust of people the west wing and the east wing. She takes over as the third press center Press Secretary merit thank you very much and. To Stephanie we look forward to joining you someday here in the briefing room come on down mean DeVon Barbie like. Let's switch gears moving over its funny funny we are getting ready for the first democratic debates they're taking place for two nights this week. Down in Miami Florida ABC's Rick Klein our political director is getting ready wreck what do we have in store for the big night. Hey there John the other stages set in Miami or should I say this they just are set an unusual arrangement twenty candidates spread across two days. Random drawings but it doesn't look so random when you see how many candidates are back loaded on the second night Elizabeth Warren really the only major candidate the only top polling candidate. On that first night on Wednesday night. But these are going to be some unique challenges for the candidates because of the format of these debates ten candidates spread across two hours means not a lot of talking time. Each candidate will get amid it's a response to a question thirty seconds when called on by one of the moderator is for a rebuttal. You do the math and you recognize that when you put in commercial breaks and questions from the moderator maybe eight or nine minutes tops is what the candidates are looking at. Puts a premium on sound bites it puts a premium on candidates that are able to deliver concise. Messages and it's a big opportunity particularly for some of the the lower polling candidates have a breakthrough moment the eyes of the political world will be upon them in Miami. For at least a nighter to. John. Rick Klein our political director thank you Rick you can catch all the ABC's coverage of the first democratic debate they're going to be happening here. On our network after they are aired our analysis with the teeming 11 PM Devin Dwyer Rick Mary Alice parks the whole group. Are going to be leading the charge and two other people who are going to be a part of our coverage. Our and that it's we're joined right now by Cheyenne Haslett Adam Kelsey. They cover two of the many democratic candidates inching wouldn't that you've what three something like a few Canada few candidates were losing track of the numbers like everybody else's OK listen what we know we wanted to add that to you on because one of the big issues are going to be talking about here. Is how to deal with student debt had to deal with the mountains announces debt we've heard plans. You both cover two of the candidates have already put out plans Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren shy and start with you so what's the break. Am sure so with the plan received from Elizabeth Warren there is that a component to make all public college student for a year tuition free and then there's a component to cancel. A certain amount of dad and the way it works is on that sliding scale based on your income so we start at Stanley is households that meek a 100000 dollars a year. They'll have 50000 dollars of debt wiped out. And then from there it's the more you make the last really feels he under the plan up to 250000 dollars a year per household. So what that looks like according cast the Mets from independent analyses is asked 75% of American households will see. Debt completely relieved and then 95% of households will see some relief and that comes out to 640 billion dollars. And he the person for free tuition is 650 billion. Steve she also called for free tuition at public university student four year public Gingrich and you know that's the 600 and and that's a that's Elizabeth Warren that's an area that Bernie Sanders Adam agrees with her on where any different their plan. Agrees with her basically on free college tuition to and four year universities like shy and was talking about when it comes to student loan debt forgiveness Sanders makes it very simple if you have a student loan you're still paying it off you have that debt it is completely wiped out doesn't mean it doesn't matter if you've got a couple thousand dollars a 100000 dollars doesn't matter what your income is. Right now whether you're public school teacher whether you're hedge fund manager at doctor a lawyer what have you. Every single person in United States of America with an outstanding student loan is gonna happen wiped out. Sanders is Al case number all of those plans they obviously sound great but this is where we need a reality check and thank god we have an economist. That's right now. Polish are kind be was a frequent guest here on the briefing term she's also with clever girl finance thank you so much for being with us although we appreciate it. Brad Ernie. So ball you just heard a breakdown on and on to these plans we've obviously got 22 and growing when we turned them 24 candidates were airs at. 123 point five plans for the ended the week Paula. Reality check where the sand is it possible to fund these plans. And it really depends do you think about how out of the loans where today we know that on average about you know the average student is threatening on lap 40000 dollars in debt below that there are 44 million. People who have won his own -- or the other and we know that this -- is that one point six Chilean dollars so you know open an individual respectively would all love our animal to be eliminated or agenda and that Libyan me thinks the we also need to look in power is going to be -- is it actually is applicable to everyone that we that it. And what do you think bowl I mean you know this is a Sony will try to figure out how to pick up some runs one of the biggest. Pitfalls we actually found me and my wife was. Up private loans that that we keep getting sold often separated and you don't and that know who you're paying at the end of the day which is fun little puzzling get to play at the end of every month. But what are some of the pitfalls that people often find themselves in that perhaps. The democratic candidates they're trying to make headway they could actually chartered trust something way. Absolutely delighted it is issues he's not knowing exactly what you sign them or we'd laugh when you were saying that not aligning college getting along lot of people don't realize how many different loan account in my house are actually seem like you mentioned. Also one of the biggest issues a lot of people out Nazi sat out after out whether the amount of debt they're taking on is what they can actually Shia based on the career they're getting in huge I didn't. This year they're leaning and that courier going to proceed actually support you on this long dead and also it's really weren't that people come here our tuition across different schools right to make sure that each and they can he not as it meets the creator and getting into these are all that he need to consider. As they look into taking on dead and eighteen understanding. What day do White House and we're sitting and the best lead at Internap out of the copying your credit report. All right polish and come be clever girl finance Paula thank you so much for that analysis I appreciate it. And before we leave you today in just to talk to Irish Diane and Adam more times they say people between the two U covers six candidates. So it's about a third give or take little in our little island. I'm a journalist not a madman ragweed and how detailed map that's why we're here. But come you don't what do you to believe you've been out there you've been covering these candidates you know their best lines there worst line mainly being worked them out yet. What to the need to do your opinions to break out e-book price of warrants in Hosni cover others woody things. Well you've got an interesting. And dynamic Gregg hearing the candidates that we cover Warren and Sanders and they have to. Competitive proposals that are about debt cancellation. And I think found their both. We're not gonna see them on the same night in the debates but they're both up against this neck and neck battle in the polls and what makes warring candidacy different from Bernie tenancy is really important to get the message to you vote. Those with horns and nine ones yes some people say it was a good draw for her based wells is on that stage and burning on the other hand in every. What he's with he's with some of the big names can be standing right next a former vice president Joseph Biden but as you're alluding to earlier John what when I'm out on the trail with Bernie Sanders when I'm looking around at voters. In the audience in New Hampshire and Iowa and some of these other early voting states that at times when they're starting to nod their heads in agreement with and is when he looks back at 2016 and he talks about becoming the thought leader of the democratic party of the proposals that he was putting on 2016 things like free college tuition. And now a number of democratic candidates are all getting behind those are considered really extreme ideas not even four years ago now everybody's trying to one up each other trying to be more progressive than the rest of the field. If he comes out on Thursday night during that second debate and he really makes this case that he's been the one pulling the party to the left. He's the one whose ideas everyone is now rallying around that's how he can have a big victory. OK Ana Lucia Kenya and he joining our full political team down in Florida have fun used to restaurant recommendations later. Before we leave you today on we're gonna head back over to the White House because there's a first happening right now president from. Has given out several medal of honor as during his term in the White House but we're seeing happening right now you see the president they earn your screen. He is giving the medal of honor to the first living veterans of the Iraq War that is David. Foley via. He got imagine what a proud moment for him and his family over the White House right. Okay. You can hear them there you can find out more David story right now. Up and abcnews.com. We're gonna leave you there for its hair reminder you wanna stick with us for full coverage of the first democratic debates does begin right here on ABC news live 11 PM tomorrow night but for now I'm John Santee chief. You are watching ABC news.

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