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Congressman Castro Tours Shelter at Lackland

Castro Compelled to Check Out Local Immigrant Kids Shelter After Cuellar Photos Released

SAN ANTONIO – A couple days after Representative Henry Cuellar released pictures of crowded, caged immigrant children being detained, Congressman Joaquin Castro toured the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland shelter.

The photos prompted his first look at the facility because he wanted to be sure the children in San Antonio weren't being kept in similar conditions.

When the pictures of immigrant kids being held at a South Texas Border Facility went public earlier this week, Castro was shocked.

"What was most disappointing about those photographs is that you see people not being treated as people, lying on the concrete floors with no real restroom facilities, just these horrendous conditions," Castro said.

Central American kids and teenagers are crossing the border at such a rapid rate, the U.S. is having a hard time keeping up.

Even though Castro said conditions at the Lackland Shelter were much better than the South Texas facility photographed by Cuellar earlier this week, he said it's tough all the way around.

"It's tough for the workers, the border patrol agents and it's certainly tough for these kids who are trying to flee for a safe life who have traveled some of them hundreds and hundreds, if not a thousand miles," Castro said. All the way around, it's a very sad thing.

Castro said the solution is going to be a combination of things.

"Working with the other countries first. I do think we can commit more resources to the border. Right now we have more resources and more manpower than we've ever had in the country's history, but we can do more," Castro said.

In addition to more manpower on the border, Castro said Congress needs to take action now.

"Congress has failed on immigration reform. If there had been an immigration bill passed a year ago or more, then in that immigration bill we could have dealt with a lot of the problems that we're now facing," Castro said.