Bay Area congresswomen outraged by Texas detention centers

MCALLEN, Texas (KGO) -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-Calif., led a delegation of lawmakers to investigate detention facilities for undocumented children and adults in Texas.

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ABC7 News Anchor Cheryl Jennings traveled to the town of McAllen with Speier, and says the legislators were outraged at what they witnessed.

The group of lawmakers is going back to Washington D.C. with images they can't forget, after touring a detention facility where undocumented children are being held.

"The first place we visited had nothing on the floors," said Speier. "They were small children, many under the age of 5, who were separated from their parents and were crying."

VIDEO: ABC7's Cheryl Jennings interviews Jackie Speier at the border
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ABC7's Cheryl Jennings has just arrived at the border with a group of Bay Area moms. Follow Cheryl and ABC7 News as we bring you the story of the Crisis at the Border.

Congresswoman. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., added, "I have called for the United Nations to send observers here. Child abuse is a violation of human rights.'

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ABC7 went to a bus station near the detention center, where we found several people who'd been detained for three days and then released because they had a family member or friend to help them. They gave themselves up to the Border Patrol after long, horrible journeys from Central America.

When asked if she got to stay with her son, Jasmahree told ABC7 through a translator, "Thank God the new law was in place. Because if not, we would have been separated."

The 21-year-old made the journey from Honduras with her toddler son. The small bags in front of her were the only things she has to start over.

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In the Bay Area, efforts to help immigrant families continue to grow, from collecting supplies to preparations for a huge rally.

She said the journey took 23 days and was very dangerous.

ABC7 also spoke with Carla, who came from El Salvador. Through a translator she said, "It took 23 days and it was very dangerous."

The 23-year-old is eight months pregnant and the bag in front of her was also all she has to her name.

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Controversy continues to surround the Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' immigration policy.

She was given an envelope with a note to help her get take a bus to her new American home.

They told us the effort was worth the risks, to make a better life for their children.

Follow Cheryl and ABC7 News as we bring you the story of the Crisis at the Border.
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