Cummings Hits DHS For Blocking Visits, Outlines Claims Of Abhorrent Conditions

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 4: U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) during a news conference to introduce H.R.1, the "For the People Act," on the U.S. Capitol on Friday, January 4, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Sa... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 4: U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) during a news conference to introduce H.R.1, the "For the People Act," on the U.S. Capitol on Friday, January 4, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) blasted the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday after the DHS cancelled the committee’s scheduled tours at 11 migrant detention facilities.

Cummings sent acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan a letter telling him that the department’s actions were “inconsistent” with McAleenan’s previous testimony that he welcomed congressional visits to the facilities.

The Oversight chair listed several “troubling reports” from the committee’s inspections last week, during which detainees alleged that they were being pressured into signing documents in English without a translator, toddlers were being fed burritos and “hundreds” of detainees were providing up to eight hours of labor in a “voluntary work program” that paid only $1.00-$1.50 per day.

“It appears that the Administration expects Congress to be satisfied with receiving agency tours of facilities–in some cases without the ability to photograph conditions or interview detainees–and not to question the policies or decisions that agency officials make,” Cummings wrote. “That is not the way effective oversight works.”

“Congress has an independent responsibility under the Constitution to determine whether federal programs are operating as they should be–not merely to accept the Administration’s word for it,” he continued.

Read the letter below:

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  1. Avatar for tpr tpr says:

    I really like this Cummings guy.

    Trump’s concentration camps are very literally a crime against humanity, and every decision-maker at the top should be tried in The Hague.

  2. The Trump regime has a lot to hide. If they didn’t, they’d allow Cummings to tour the concentration camps. Cummings needs to keep pushing.

  3. Damn right. The time for 'reasonableness is over. time to call atrocity out.

    Slightly OT but, refusing to name and treat an atrocity as such is to blunt coherent civic action against it, a tactic so-called moderate right-wingers know all too well; e.g.,

    ... One reason slavery was not abolished in America through the political process, as it was in Britain, is that abolitionists were rhetorically straitjacketed by the proposition that they were the hard-liners who sought to curtail freedom. When the Charleston Mercury wrote that it was the “duty” of Northerners to “prove” that they were willing to defend Southerners against “fanatics,” Northern newspapers reprinted the editorial. Northerners, not Southerners, had to watch what they said and strain to compromise so they didn’t confirm the dictatorial notion Southern rhetoricians had implanted in the public mind. ...

    If you hear somebody lament, as Bret Stephens does, that political “opinions that were considered reasonable and normal” not too long ago now must be “delivered in whispers,” it might be antebellum reasoning. If somebody says — as Harris has — that our politics are at risk of ignoring common sense, logic or the realities of human biology, it might be antebellum reasoning. If somebody such as Nicholas Kristof says they don’t like noxious thinkers but urges us to give them platforms for the sake of “protecting dissonant and unwelcome voices,” it might be antebellum reasoning. The truth is that we have more avenues now for free expression in America than we’ve ever had.

    —Eve Fairbanks (The 'reasonable' rebels)

    “The devil can cite scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek…” —Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice, 1596)

  4. There needs to be consequences for the behavior of this administration and that goes all the way down.

  5. Avatar for pshah pshah says:

    Sometimes I feel like he’s the last man left who cares -on a deep, heartfelt level. I realize that’s unfair to so many other Dems who also care, but Congressman Cummings has maintained his integrity, demonstrated his passion on this issue, and maintained his composure through the vilest racist slanders. And he keeps moving forward despite this Administration’s illegal efforts to subvert every investigation. It feels like he’s kept his faith in our government and our Constitution, which I appreciate, because my own is flagging.

    I appreciate him so much because of how he carries himself through adversity. Just a terrific role model.

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