NO “OBAMA KENNELS” FOUND BY MSNBC REPORTER (AND EVEN DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, CONDITIONS WEREN’T SO BAD): As Glenn noted earlier today, MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff didn’t find any “Obama kennels” on his visit to the children’s shelter in Brownsville. That’s consistent with what the US Comm’n on Civil Rights saw (but failed to write about) when it toured actual detention facilities during the Obama Administration. In my personal statement to the report, I pointed out that the Commission’s majority had anticipated finding “egregious human rights and constitutional violations.” But as far as I could see, it hadn’t found them. I wrote:

[A] funny thing happened on the way to exposing “egregious human rights and constitutional violations.” The detention centers weren’t nearly as bad as we had been led to believe. Indeed, the Karnes facility was surprisingly attractive for a detention center.

Some of our Commission members and staff appeared to be quite surprised at the quality of treatment they saw. When we were led to a room at the Karnes facility that contained rows and rows of brand new brand-name clothing and told that new arrivals were permitted to select six outfits for themselves and each of their children, the looks on the faces of my colleagues were of astonishment. Questions were asked: “These clothes aren’t new, are they?” Yes, they are new, the tour guide explained. “I guess they are donated, right?” No, the tour guide replied, they are purchased by GEO (the private company that owns and manages the Karnes facility in cooperation with ICE).

The detention facility I’m referring to was for “families” (which means mothers and their minor children). But there are only so many beds in those facilities. When they fill up, other arrangements have to be made.

What I hope my fellow Commissioners got from this (although I’m not sure they did) was not to believe everything they hear about “egregious human rights violations” at immigration facilities. For example, the Commission heard testimony that the food at one of the facilities was full of maggots. But the evidence (as discussed in my Statement) made this highly unlikely.