Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) today sent the following letter to R. Gil Kerlikowske, Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), demanding the CBP reverse their policy and permit media access to the Nogales Processing Center to document the conditions in these facilities for the large number of unaccompanied children being held there. The letter is below.
June 12, 2014
R. Gil Kerlikowske
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20229
Dear Commissioner Kerlikowske,
We are concerned by reports that media organizations have been denied access to the Nogales Processing Center to observe and document the conditions in these facilities for the large number of unaccompanied children being held there. In the face of this humanitarian crisis, barring the news media from gathering information that is certainly in the public’s interest undermines principles fundamental to transparency and democracy. We understand the need to ensure the privacy and safety of those individuals at this facility, but feel certain a compromise that safeguards these interests can be reached. Therefore, we urge you to immediately reverse the CBP’s policy prohibiting media access.