Acting Chief of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan responded Thursday on "Fox News @ Night" to allegations that a Dallas-born U.S. citizen was held in "inhumane" conditions at a Texas detention center.
Francisco Erwin Galicia, 18, told the Dallas News he was unable to shower for 23 days in custody and claimed he lost 26 pounds due to a lack of food.
"It was inhumane how they treated us. It got to the point where I was ready to sign a deportation paper just to not be suffering there anymore. I just needed to get out of there," he said.
Morgan told Shannon Bream that such allegations about inhumane conditions or a lack of food for migrants are "absolutely false."
"We've had so much congressional oversight. We've let cameras in there. So that's just false," he said, calling it a "very complicated" case that stemmed from Galicia providing "conflicting information" about his citizenship status.
The Edinburg, Texas, teen was released from ICE’s Pearsall facility on Tuesday. Galicia was traveling with a group of friends, all Latinos, when they were stopped at a Border Patrol inland checkpoint on a highway.
The teen presented a wallet-sized Texas birth certificate, a Texas ID card and a Social Security to agents but was taken into custody on suspicion that he was in the U.S. illegally and his documents were fraudulent, the Washington Post reported.
He was detained for three weeks by Border Patrol before he was transferred to the ICE facility on Saturday. Galicia was born in Dallas on Dec. 24, 2000, Dallas Morning News reported.
Morgan said Galicia was held for so long by Border Patrol, rather than ICE, because "ICE doesn't have beds" due to a lack of funding from Congress.
"That's why our facilities are overcrowded. We've got to make sure that we're being intellectually honest when we talk about this issue," he said.
The teen’s mother, Sanjuana Galicia, is an undocumented immigrant. His lawyer said that agents may have suspected the teen's documents were fraudulent based on previous documents his mother took out in his name.
When the teen was still a minor, his mother took out a U.S. tourist visa in his name, falsely saying on the document that her son was born in Mexico, thinking it would make it easier for him to travel there to visit family, she said.
Fox News' Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.