The cry of a child could be heard just inside the nondescript, brown detention facility in Pleasant Hill, California, a San Francisco suburb, and Rep. Jeff Denham wanted to see for himself what was inside.
He knocked on the door and waited about five minutes, alternatively silent, knocking some more and asking the security guard if employees inside were aware he was out there. The guard eventually told him the employees inside had been instructed to not answer the door, not to even speak to him.
He’d been trying for more than a week to tour the facility.
Denham, who faces one of the nation’s most competitive re-election battles this year, said he made the journey to the center to see conditions for himself as Congress considers immigration legislation and confronts the outcry over separated families.
The facility is run by Southwest Key Programs, a nonprofit being paid by the federal government to care for the children.