Earlier this week I reported about Border Patrol agents in Nogales being threatened with firings after photos of overwhelmed conditions were leaked to the media. Since that time, all personal electronic devices belonging to agents have been banned from the Nogales processing center, where thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America are sleeping in chain-linked cells. Media has been banned from the area and tours for press are not being granted or approved.
However, while the media is being kept away, others are being allowed into the facility. Rev. Jarrett Maupin, who is running for a seat in Arizona's 7th Congressional District, was granted a tour earlier this week. Maupin has close ties to Rev. Al Sharpton. According to OurCampaigns.com, he currently serves as a national board member for Sharpton's National Action Network [NAN] and as the President and CEO of the Arizona Chapter of the NAN. Maupin is also part of the Border Action Network, a far-left offshoot of Sharpton's NAN. Maupin has been quoted saying, "Some call me his [Sharpton's] 'mini-me.'" In 2009, Maupin plead guilty to a felony after lying to a federal agent.
Maupin detailed his tour of the Nogales facility to radio host Jon Justice of the Jon Justice Show yesterday and described the inside access he was granted to detention and processing areas. He went on the tour with a delegation of civil rights activists.
"I saw it all. I was inside of the warehouse which is the detention holding area," Maupin told Justice. "We were inside of that facility."
"I went on a humanitarian fact finding mission, they let me in, I had cooperation from the folks in D.C. We toured the administrative office, we had a meeting in the conference room, immediately following the meeting in the conference room we were taken over to that warehouse. We walked through the showers, we walked through the bathroom unit and then up the stairs and into that warehouse where they are actually housing these undocumented migrants and people are referring to them as refugees. We saw them. They saw us. We spoke to them, they spoke to us. I saw where they slept, I saw where lunch was being prepped at, I saw their personal belongings," Maupin continued. "Release the video, you will see me with those kids. I saw the detention area, it was for lack of a better word, it was an improvised prison with chain-link and barbed wire. I saw the blankets and them in their dirty clothes. I could smell them because they hadn't been able to shower for the ten days that they've been there and their entire journey to America. That's inhumane. It's unjust and it's unacceptable...I don't blame Border Patrol. I think they are doing the best that they can."
According to sources, although formal requests for tours must be submitted and received through the Customs and Border Protection Public Information Office in Nogales, they're being approved by an outside official in Washington D.C. It is suspected those who see eye-to-eye with the administration on immigration, in Maupin's case open border civil rights activists, are being favored with granted requests.
At the time of this writing, Border Patrol press officers had not returned calls for comment or to answer questions about why the media is being kept out of facilities, what criteria a person must meet in order to be approved for a tour, why requests are being approved outside of Nogales and who exactly outside of the Nogales station is approving requests.
Maupin said in his interview with Justice that he "absolutely" believes the media should be granted equal access to the facility.
H/T Jon Justice