A new report from The Office of Inspector General revealed that several detention centers for migrant families and children in Texas are severely overcrowded with detainees who are being forced to live in squalid conditions. According to the report, minor children are not being given hot meals for days at a time and detainees are begging guards not to take them back to their cells.
In June, The DHS Office of Inspector General conducted inspections of five Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in south Texas. According to the report, the agency is “concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained.”
Conditions at facilities in the Rio Grande Valley were described by investigators as rampantly overcrowded, with one facility cramming more than 50 women into a single cell intended to hold 40 male juveniles. At another facility, 71 men were put in a cell designed for 41 detainees.
Investigators also revealed that CBP has been keeping detainees in its custody for "prolonged" periods of time. In fact, more than 2,500 unaccompanied children had been held for more than three days. The report also stated that about 50 children under the age of 7 had been in custody for over two weeks. This is a major violation of the Flores court settlement that set immigration detention standards for unaccompanied alien children. These standards particularly address facility conditions and the timing and terms of the release of minors.
Perhaps one of the saddest and most shocking revelations from the report is that three of the five facilities were not providing detained children access to showers or clean clothes. Instead of allowing the detainees to shower, guards give them cleaning wipes for personal hygiene. With no hot meals and a strict bologna sandwich diet, detained single adults and families reported that they were getting constipated due to the restrictive diet.
The report said the following about whether DHS could adequately respond to this crisis:
"We recognize the extraordinary challenges CBP faces, and welcome the information that DHS has been able to reduce the number of UACs in custody. However, we remain concerned that DHS is not taking sufficient measures to address prolonged detention in CBP custody among single adults.”
Fighting for the Rights of Immigrants
At Klinke Immigration, LLC, we are appalled by the conditions that have been reported at facilities throughout the southern border. As dedicated attorneys serving immigrant clients, we are very concerned with the violations of the Flores court settlement that are being blatantly overlooked by the Trump administration. That is why we are here to help if you or someone you know has been detained by ICE or CBP for a prolonged period of time. Our lawyers will guide you through the legal process and we will use our extensive resources to defend your rights. Let us take a look at your case today.
Call (678) 496-2990 to schedule your case consultation with a member of our law firm.