Alex Azar both defends and pans conditions for migrant children at detention centers


Pia Deshpande reports:

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar both defended the administration's treatment of migrant children at detention centers and lamented the state of the facilities, saying in a Fox News interview on Monday that the centers were "not good conditions for kids to be in."

President Donald Trump and his aides have been on the defensive after numerous reports detailed unsanitary and overcrowded conditions at the detention facilities. Over the weekend, administration officials mostly blamed Democrats, accusing them of holding up a $4.6 billion emergency spending bill that would include $2.88 billion for unaccompanied minors.

On Monday, Azar swung between calling the conditions unacceptable to claiming the children are in a “safe, secure environment.” 

“It was built for single adults coming across back in the '80s, '90s, and 2000s,” Azar said, asserting the immigration detention system was not designed for modern patterns. "It is overwhelmed — these are not good conditions for kids to be in.” 

Azar then called for a funding bill to be passed soon, and said that otherwise, the detention centers along the southern border will run out of money in July. 

Fox News's Harris Faulkner then asked Azar to comment on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s viral comments from last week in which she compared migrant detention centers to "concentration camps," which led to Azar promoting the merits of the centers.