Vice President Mike Pence visits Texas Friday to talk about ‘humanitarian crisis’

Vice President Mike Pence heads to Texas Friday.

By early afternoon, he plans to arrive in McAllen in time to join the Senate Judiciary Committee for a visit to the border, according to a statement from his office.

Pence and other leaders also plan to tour a center where migrants who seek asylum are processed. He also plans to participate in a roundtable discussion about “the humanitarian crisis at our southern border,” the statement reads.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas is on the committee and is expected to be in McAllen.

Cornyn has said it’s time for Congress to take action, which is why he introduced the Humane Act, which he said would keep families together and streamline processing of migrants.

A report released last week noted that officials need to address “dangerous overcrowding” at detention centers along the border. The report included observations of federal officials who toured the facilities in early June.

“We are concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained,” the report stated. “At the time of our visits, Border Patrol management told us there had already been security incidents among young males at multiple facilities.

“These included detainees clogging toilets with Mylar blankets and socks in order to be released from their cells during maintenance,” the report stated. “At one facility, detainees who had been moved from their cell during cleaning refused to return to their cell.”

After Friday’s tour and roundtable discussion, Pence plans to return to Washington, D.C.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.