GOP Congressman says immigrant children should walk out of detention camps if they’re unhappy

As reports of migrant children being held in substandard conditions continue to mount, a Republican member of Congress said Monday that if immigrant kids in internment camps are unhappy, they can simply walk out because the doors are left unlocked.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) was a guest on “All in With Chris Hayes,” and the host asked him about the news reports of children having to sleep on cold concrete floors and being denied necessities such as blankets, soap, and toothbrushes:

“But do you think [the reporter] is making it up? You think this is fictional?”

Burgess replied:

“I don’t know if it’s hyperbole I know that the hatred for this president is so intense, people are liable to say anything. I got to go look for myself and see for myself.”

A few minutes later, Hayes asked the congressman about conditions at a camp in Clint, Texas, that was featured in a report from The New York Times:

“My focus is more on children with lice crawling through their head in a US facility that we are as citizens responsible for…”

The Texas Republican interrupted Hayes to remark:

“Wait a minute. Those children arrive with the lice and they are…”


“You were not in the facility, sir. I just talked to the lawyer who was just in Clint, Texas. You just told me you’re not in Clint, Texas. You don’t know what they got.”

Near the conclusion of the contentious interview, Burgess suggested that if children in the camps weren’t happy with how they were being treated, they should walk out and go elsewhere:

“I’ve been to Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas. Yes, it’s a restored Walmart. You know what, there is not a lock on the door. Any child is free to leave at any time, but they don’t. You know why? Because they’re well taken care of. At some point, they’re going to live with family, generally not mother or father, but some family member. That’s a good thing.”

Where in the hell is a two-year-old child supposed to go if he or she does leave? How are they supposed to find a place to live and food to eat? How?!

The Republican Party has become a heartless, soulless entity being led by a president who is willing to incarcerate and mistreat babies if it helps him politically. This cannot be allowed to continue.

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