Migrant children and their families held in the Rio Valley face ‘dangerous and overcrowded’ cells with ‘no access to showers or hot food and standing room only’, a draft report has revealed.
Department of Homeland Security inspectors are said to have found those detained are using wipes to clean themselves with bologna sandwiches the only food being served to many adults, Buzzfeed News reports.
Others are said to have banged on windows as officials walked past, trying to show them notes and the length of their beards to prove their time in custody.
Children are reported to have a limited change of clothes while other detainees blocked toilets in order to be released from their cells, the report claims.
In the draft report, written by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, it is claimed some children are being held in closed cells.
The statement is addressed to the acting DHS secretary, Kevin McAleenan and has not been released publicly yet.
Josa, 27, embraces his son, Josa Daniel, six, after crossing the border into the US on May 16 in El Paso, Texas. Migrant children and their families held in the Rio Valley face ‘dangerous and overcrowded’ cells, a draft report has revealed
Jennifer Costello, acting inspector general, is said to have written: ‘Specifically, we are recommending that the Department of Homeland Security take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley.’
The report goes on: ‘The limited space for medical isolation resulted in some [unaccompanied children] and families being held in closed cells.
‘When detainees observed us, they banged on the cell windows, shouted, pressed notes to the window with their time in custody, and gestured to evidence of their time in custody (e.g. beards).
‘Senior managers at several facilities raised security concerns for their agents and the detainees. For example, one called the situation a ‘ticking time bomb,’ and another said there was ‘fear of a revolt.’
A spokesman for the Office of Inspector General of Department of Homeland Security told DailyMail.com: ‘The report referenced in the article is a draft report that OIG has not publicly released. We are planning to publish the final report next week and will ensure that you get a copy at that time.’
Migrants detained by US Customs and Border Protection are pictured in a makeshift holding facility beneath ‘Paso Del Norte’ bridge, as seen from El Paso, Texas, in April
Department of Homeland Security inspectors are said to have found those detained using wipes to clean themselves and bologna sandwiches the only food being served to many adults
The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection has already said he is stepping down as his agency is under siege over the discovery of dozens of children in filthy conditions at one of its stations in Texas.
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders said in a message to employees that he would resign on July 5. He did not give a reason for leaving his job.
Government rules call for children to be held by the Border Patrol in their short-term stations for no longer than 72 hours before they are transferred to the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
They house migrant youth in facilities around the country through its Office of Refugee Resettlement while authorities determine if they can be released to relatives or family friends.
But data in the report is said to show 826 of the 2,669 children held at the border facilities were in custody longer than that. In McAllen, Texas, 165 unaccompanied children are said to have been held for longer than a week.
It was revealed Monday the government has already removed 300 children from a migrant camp on the border after complaints that they were being kept in dirty, inhumane conditions.
Of the more than 300 that were at the facility near El Paso, Texas, there are now only 30. It is unclear where the others have been taken.
Donald Trump said Wednesday he isn’t pleased with the $4.5 billion humanitarian aid allowance passed by the House. Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders said in a message to employees that he would resign on July 5
Immigrant children read and play at an aid center after being released from U.S. government detention in November, 2018, in McAllen, Texas. In a draft report written by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General it is claimed some children are being held in closed cells
Donald Trump said Wednesday he isn’t pleased with the $4.5 billion humanitarian aid allowance passed by the House because it doesn’t allot any of the billions in funds for border protection despite growing concern at the situation migrants face when they illegally cross into the U.S..
Democratic House leadership was able to secure the money, but only after including strict limitations for what the money could be used for, including improving conditions for the migrants being held after illegally crossing the border.
‘I’m not happy with it because there’s no money for protection,’ the president told Maria Bartiromo in an interview on Fox Business Wednesday morning. ‘It’s like we’re running hospitals over there now!’
The bill ended up passing 230-195 on Tuesday, almost along party lines, and will seek to address the horrific situation migrants are facing when they illegally cross into the U.S., rather than block the flux of immigrants that continuously flow across the border.
Lawyers who visited facilities last week described squalid conditions to The Associated Press, which first reported on the complaints.
The conditions at the station in Clint, Texas, included inadequate food, lack of medical care, and older children trying to care for toddlers.
In one case, attorneys said a two-year-old boy without a diaper was being watched by older kids. Several had the flu.
Many were separated from extended family members like aunts and uncles who brought them to the border; others were teenage moms with babies.
Many children were moved out of the facility in recent days.
Government facilities are overcrowded and five immigrant children have died since late last year after being detained by Customs and Border Protection.