As the Trump administration faces condemnation this week in response to reports of inhumane conditions for migrant children held at overcrowded border detention centers, conservative evangelical leader James Dobson said the media has not been “truthful” in its reporting on the issue.
Dobson, a psychologist who founded Family Talk Radio and Focus on the Family, sent his July newsletter to thousands of friends and supporters to share his firsthand account of what he saw at an immigration detention center in McAllen, Texas.
As conservative evangelical leaders have been kept informally engaged in various aspects of the Trump administration, the 83-year-old said he was invited on the trip several weeks ago by the White House as federal agents “are struggling to deal with a massive influx of poor and destitute human beings.”
Dobson, who served on the Trump 2016 campaign’s evangelical advisery board, said he promised U.S. Custom and Border Patrol agents that he would “go home and tell as many people as possible what I had seen ‘up close and personal.’”
“Please believe me when I tell you that the media and leftist politicians have not been truthful about what is going on there,” Dobson stressed. “It is a human tragedy.”
He said that about 5,500 people arrive every day in districts organized along the U.S. border with Mexico. According to Dobson, McAllen is the “busiest and most besieged” of all the districts.
“The ‘refugees’ arrive exhausted and ragged from walking hundreds of miles. Among them are large numbers of children, many of whom are unaccompanied by a caring adult. Last year, 382,000 aliens were apprehended for illegally crossing into this country and almost 100,000 of them were minors,” Dobson explained.
“Some of the kids have been abused along the way. Many of them carry lice, scabies or other diseases. Currently, the facility I visited is experiencing a flu epidemic, and there are no additional beds on which to lie.”
Dobson added that some of the migrant women have been raped, and at least 70 people of varying ages are sent to hospitals every day along the border. He stressed that doctors and medical staff are “overwhelmed” by their patient load.
“Remember that word, ‘overwhelmed,’” he wrote. “It describes every aspect of the effort to deal with the situation there.”
Dobson explained that the most “heart-wrenching experience” from his visit occurred during a tour of the holding area at McAllen, which he described as a huge “gym-like building” that is comprised of several fenced-in areas.
“Each one is crowded with detainees standing or sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on benches. They stared out at us with plaintive eyes,” relayed Dobson. “I noticed that almost none of them were talking to each other. The children looked traumatized and frightened. Tears flooded my eyes as I stood before them. They had no toys or dolls, except for a few items bought by compassionate Border Patrol agents.”
One of those items, he said, was a doll that a little girl was holding that was bought for her by a patrol agent.
“There are few provisions made to accommodate the children. The week before we were there, a delegation of agents went to meet with members of Congress and begged them for additional money to buy Pampers, toothbrushes, and other necessities,” Dobson wrote. “They were turned down flat. These meager supplies have to be purchased with the Border Patrol budget, which is stretched to the limit.”
Dobson added that he is among the “majority of Americans” who want to see the border “closed to those who enter illegally,” saying there “has to be a better solution.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith