Legislators tour two migrant detention facilities in Texas, describing a “broken” system and inhumane conditions amid the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

After the visit by more than a dozen Democratic representatives, they spoke of women held in rooms without running water, sleeping bags on concrete, and children separated from families.

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez said that detainees revealed their plight despite attempts by Customs and Border Protection to make the facilities presentable. Women told her they had gone 15 days without a shower, had no soap, and were allowed to start bathing only four days ago after the congressional visit was announced. Some said they were forced to drink out of the toilet when the faucet in their cell broke.

The legislators had to give up their mobile phones before entry, but Rep. Joaquin Castro was able to keep his to get photographs and video:

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus organized the day trip to the Texas border after revelations of inhumane conditions for children in an overcrowded warehouse in the Clint facility. Lawyers who visited were so troubled that they told the media of the juveniles with flu and lice and denied toothbrushes, soap, blankets, and other necessities. Some were in clothing stained with mucus and vomit, and infants in dirty diapers were being looked after by older children.

See also Flu, Filth, and Lice: Inside a Texas “Concentration Camp” For Immigrant Children

Rep. Madeleine Dean said on Monday that she was initially scolded by an official for miming an air hug to a migrant child. But despite being told not to speak to the detainees, the group did so.

Women, some with tears on their cheeks, said they did not have access to medication. One explained, “I crossed that damn river. I wanted to come to America. That’s my offense.”

Ocasio-Cortez noted that the situation could not be remedied by a $4.5 billion humanitarian aid bill, given the Administration’s emphasis on detention.

See also EA on BBC and Radio FM4: Yes, Trump Administration is to Blame for Immigrant Children in “Concentration Camps”

Donald Trump was dismissive as he signed the aid bill: “I know that the Border Patrol is not happy with the Democrats in Congress.”

Migrant women in the El Paso, Texas facility

Abuse by Protesters and Border Officers

The legislators were confronted with abuse by pro-Trump protesters, and Border Patrol agents are mocking them and migrants with obscene posts and images.

The handful of protesters heckled the legislators’ press conference with vulgar and racist remarks. Tamer comments included “bunch of knuckleheads” and “break out the onions”, a mocking of the emotional comments by the representatives.

“We don’t want Muslims here,” another yelled.

In a secret Facebook group, current and former Border Patrol agents joked about migrants’ deaths and posted obscene and doctored images of Ocasio-Cortez and Escobar, calling on personnel to “hurl a burrito”.

Ocasio-Cortez noted, “These officers felt brazen in there….We caught officers trying to sneak photos, laughing.”