Chattanooga pastor visits immigrant detention center amid border crisis
A Chattanooga pastor visited Clint Detention Center after a public outcry over conditions inside a border patrol facility in Clint, Texas.
He toured the facility down at the southern border on Saturday. He says conditions were better than expected.
Seven pastors including Kevin Wallace who preaches at a church in Chattanooga were invited to the border by Samuel Rodriquez-- a man who has advised President Trump on immigration.
"We were told we were the first group of preachers to ever go back there," Wallace told Channel 3.
Reports came out over the last week detailing inhumane conditions at Clint Detention Center.
"It's not at all what I had imagined based on the reports that I heard," recalled Wallace.
He says much of what the media has reported in the last week regarding the center is false.
"The kids in the place were obtaining incredible care. I never saw one soggy diaper, I never saw one hungry child, there are no cages," said Wallace.
Pastor Wallace says ICE agents and government officials guided him through the facility, including the restricted areas.
"As I walked through I thought-- there are people living in America, children living in America-- who are living conditions are much worst," Wallace told Channel 3.
He says it was not uncommon to see ICE agents changing diapers and trying to comfort the children at the Clint Detention Center.
"I saw people in that detention center who demonstrated a true care and concern for those children," recalled Wallace, "There was not one child that looked malnourished, that looked unfed, that looked unkempt."
Wallace asked officials at the border if children were being taken from their parents.
"Of all of them, none of them were stripped from their parents," Wallace added.
He says he was told children are coming over the border after their parents and the facility is trying to reunite them with their families.
The pastor says he was shocked to see how clean the facility was.
"I would eat off the floor. And there was food in the place to eat. I did not see one uncared for child, or one child who looked lost or without oversight-- it was just not that," Wallace told Channel 3.
Wallace visited just one of the many detention centers immigrants are being detained in.
He says this is still not the ideal kind of environment for children at the center and hopes changes are made to improve the children's comfort level down at the border.