Cooper made the comments Tuesday after Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders' resignation and the pressure on the Trump administration to improve the conditions of the migrant detention facilities.
“Some of the people responsible… compare the influx of migrants to a storm or flood or a tide, as if this all fell from the sky or rolled in from the sea,” he said.
“At the end of the day, though, this is not an act of God. These are people, poor people, young people and whatever you think about the case they may have for coming here, they are here.”
“They are now in custody here and those words in custody don’t just mean are being held, they mean in the care of, or as Webster’s has it, the act or process of preserving in safety, which is not what’s happening,” he added.”
The CNN host noted that the “stench” caused by subpar conditions in the facilities was actually coming from the authorities responsible for the situation.
“Most of the young detainees have not been able to shower or wash clothes since they arrived at the facility. Those who visited said they have no access to toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap. ‘There is a stench, said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, one of the lawyers who visited the facility. ’The overwhelming majority of children have not bathed since they crossed the border,’ she said,” Cooper said.
He added: “There is a stench, she said, speaking literally of human beings living worse than animals because animals at least have the means to clean themselves. She might have well been speaking figuratively of the stench coming from the places where the people responsible for all this are failing to take responsibility.”
“There is a stench, she said, speaking literally of human beings living worse than animals because animals at least have the means to clean themselves. She might have well been speaking figuratively of the stench coming from the places where the people responsible for all this are failing to take responsibility.”
— CNN’s Anderson Cooper
The House approved a $4.5 billion supplemental spending bill on Tuesday night to address humanitarian issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and to provide additional funding for food, water, medical services and stronger protections for unaccompanied children, among other things.
The House bill, which passed 230-195, included specifics that would prevent the Trump administration from allowing any funding to go toward beefing up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel at the border, likely to become a point of contention with Republicans.