Almost 400 migrant men were so severely packed into detention cages at a Texas border facility Friday that they could not lie down on the concrete floor at the same time to sleep, according to a report from a pool of reporters traveling with Vice President Mike Pence. There were no cots, mats or pillows for them to sleep on, and several men said that they had been in the cages, largely unwashed, for 40 days.

“The stench was horrendous,” reported Washington Post journalist Josh Dawsey.

VP saw 384 men sleeping inside fences, on concrete w/no pillows or mats. They said they hadn’t showered in weeks, wanted toothbrushes, food. Stench was overwhelming. CBP said they were fed regularly, could brush daily & recently got access to shower (many hadn’t for 10-20 days.)

— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) July 12, 2019

The Customs and Border Protection agent in charge at the McAllen facility said there “wasn’t room for cots and the facility didn’t have a shower” — until Thursday when one was provided in an outdoor trailer, Dawsey tweeted. Some men said they hadn’t showered for as long as 20 days and were shouting at reporters that they wanted to brush their teeth. It was “sweltering,” even though a CPB official insisted the facility was “air conditioned,“ Dawsey tweeted.

Agent in charge said there wasn’t room for cots andthe facility didn’t have a shower but got a shower yesterday in an outdoor trailer. Some hadn’t showered for 10 or 20 days. Agent said no one had been there longer than 32 days, but some men told CNN’s Pam Brown and me they had.

— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) July 12, 2019

Pence told reporters that he wasn’t surprised by what he saw, Dawsey reported.

“Look, this is tough stuff,” Pence at a news conference later, The Associated Press reported. “I knew we’d see a system that is overcrowded. It’s overwhelmed and that’s why Congress has to act.” Pence’s office had said the tour was an effort to show that the Trump administration is providing adequate care for migrants, but it didn’t appear to work out that way. Reporters were whisked out of the facility 90 seconds after arriving, according to AP.

President Donald Trump said earlier in the day that he had sent Pence to the border to dispel reports of dire conditions at the centers.

“They’re crowded because we have a lot of people, but they’re in good shape,” Trump said. He complained about “phony” reporting on poor conditions by The New York Times.

The men said they were hungry and wanted to brush teeth. Most didn’t speak English but gestured at us. CBP said three meals are brought in a day & they can brush daily. Stench was horrendous. CPB said it is cleaned 3x a day. Heat was sweltering. CBP said it was air conditioned.

— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) July 12, 2019

Pence’s office issued a statement saying the CBP had been instructed not to clean up the facility so Americans could “see how serious the crisis at our border is.”

VP’s office just provided this statement in response to McAllen: “The VP’s office specifically instructed CBP to not clean up or sanitize the facility beyond what is routine so the American people could see how serious the crisis at our border is."

— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) July 13, 2019

What Americans did was react with outrage to Dawsey’s tweets.

So @VP is pretending that he and @realDonaldTrump aren’t responsible for the situation in those camps. There are no words adequate enough to describe how despicable they are. By the way @VP , Hell, where you will ultimately go for your actions is probably even worse.

— aring (@aring) July 13, 2019

The crisis at our border is serious because of how it’s being handled, not because there are people trying to come in.

— Robert Klufas (@Big_Boofy9923) July 13, 2019

Don't they get that their inhumane treatment is a crisis.? I hope there is a hell…

— Debbie Hemenway (@DebbieHemenway) July 13, 2019

So the @VP’s office just confirmed that these detention centers are deplorable

— AnG 💙 (@ahal79) July 13, 2019

Thank you @VP for showing America that you approve of Nazi-like treatment of immigrants in concentration camps. The world is watching.

— Cora (@corabora5) July 13, 2019 Download REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus

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