Trump’s America: DHS’s Office of Inspector General Report: “Dangerous Overcrowding” at Detention Facilities

Overcrowding of families observed by OIG on June 10, 2019, at Border Patrol’s
McAllen, TX, Station. Source:  Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General

Published July 4, 2019

WASHINGTON – While President Trump wants to show off military strength by hosting a parade in the nation’s capitol on the nation’s 243rd birthday, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General released a dismal report on Tuesday that warns of “dangerous overcrowding” in Border Patrol facilities near the southern border of the United States.

The photographs released by the Office of Inspector General are, as the old saying goes, worth a thousand words. The photographs are not pretty; nor are the words of the report.

The report says the long-term detention of migrants without proper food, hygiene or laundry facilities — some for more than a month — requires “immediate attention and action.” The report is the result of inspectors visiting Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.

Overcrowding of families observed by OIG on June 11, 2019, at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Centralized Processing Center. Source: Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General

The report says hundreds of children were detained longer than the 72 hours, the maximum time allowed by federal regulations. Children were held for more than two weeks in some situations.

Trump’s America – Source: Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General

A portion of the report reads:

In addition to holding roughly 30 percent of minor detainees for longer than 72 hours, several Rio Grande Valley facilities struggled to meet other TEDS standards for UACs and families. For example, children at three of the five Border Patrol facilities we visited had no access to showers, despite the TEDS standards requiring that “reasonable efforts” be made to provide showers to children approaching 48 hours in detention.8 At these facilities, children had limited access to a change of clothes; Border Patrol
had few spare clothes and no laundry facilities. While all facilities had infant formula, diapers, baby wipes, and juice and snacks for children, we observed that two facilities had not provided children access to hot meals — as is required by the TEDS standards9 — until the week we arrived. Instead, the children were fed sandwiches and snacks for their meals. Additionally, while Border Patrol tried to provide the least restrictive setting available for children (e.g., by leaving holding room doors open), the limited space for medical isolation resulted in some UACs and families being held in closed cells.

READ entire report.

 

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