Mayor says trip to Tornillo emphasizes need to fight for more change

Austin leaders say it was tough seeing the conditions in Tornillo after coming home Thursday night. (Photo: CBS Austin)

Austin leaders say it was tough seeing the conditions in Tornillo after coming home Thursday night.

Mayor Steve Adler and most of the city council are back in Austin after their trip to the detention facility in Tornillo.

Many decided to fly home, but Adler and Greg Casar opted to drive.

"It was hard to leave knowing that these kids are still incarcerated in tents in the desert,” Casar said.

Casar and Adler reflected on their trip during a phone call with CBS Austin. They said it was tough seeing the conditions the children were staying in.

“Even though I prepared myself and thought about it before hand and reading so much about it. It was just totally a different experience when we were there,” Casar said.

"Really puts into visual reality a policy that just feels so wrong and so immoral and so unjust,” Adler said.

Adler also said it was encouraging seeing the 20 mayors gathered for the same cause. He also said people calling against separating families caused president Trump’s executive order.

"It is reaffirming to see the power that people have,” Adler said.

Adler, the mayors and the city council members tried to tour the facility inside. However, they were not let inside. Adler said they were able to go into Mexico and get a better look at the facility.

“It’s hard for all of us to carry,” Adler said.

Not getting inside was frustrating for some. Casar decided to put children’s shoes at the gate as a symbol for those inside. He hopes others do the same.

"They wouldn't let us see them, they wouldn't even let us get close to them. And so I think a real symbol of those missing kids were the empty children's shoes that we left at the fence,” Casar said.

Other council members flew home to Austin. They also described how it was tough seeing the conditions saying it was like a prison in the desert.

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