A new report by the Office of Inspector General reveals illegal immigrants in detention centers are going to great lengths to bust out of the overcrowded facilities, where showers are scarce and many become constipated from a daily diet of bologna sandwiches.
The OIG report issued Tuesday details observations during spot inspections at border detention facilities in the Rio Grande Valley sector in mid June, and the situation is not good for the immigrants or the folks tasked with taking care of them.
#BORDERNEWS A new report revealing the reality of what’s happening inside overly crowded processing centers in the Rio Grande Valley was just released. The Office of Inspector General says they observed ‘serious overcrowding and prolong detention because the Rio Grande Valley… pic.twitter.com/k1BTaRTKaB
— Sydney Hernandez (@SydneyKGBT) July 2, 2019
“In the Border Patrol facilities we visited, we … observed serious overcrowding and prolonged detention among adult detainees. (Federal) TEDS (standards) provides that ‘under no circumstances should the maximum (cell occupancy rate, as set by the fare marshal, be exceeded.’ However, at one facility, some single adults were held in standing room only conditions for a week and at another, some single adults were held more than a month in overcrowded cells,” according to the report.
The situation is unbearable for some, who are taking matters into their own hands to force officials to provide relief.
“We are concerned that overcrowding and prolonged detention represent an immediate risk to the health and safety of DHS agents and officers, and to those detained,” according to the report. “At the time of our visits, Border Patrol management told us there had already been security incidents among adult makes at multiple facilities.
“These included detainees clogging toilets with Mylar blankets and socks in order to be released from their cells during maintenance,” the OIG reports. “At one facilities, detainees who had been moved from their cell during cleaning refused to return to their cell. Border Patrol brought in its special operations team to demonstrate it was prepared to use force if necessary.
“Additionally, detainees have attempted to escape while removed from their cells during maintenance.”
At the Fort Brown Station, federal inspectors counted 88 illegal immigrants in a cell designed for 41, including many that hadn’t showered or changed clothes in a long time. Some illegal immigrants are also developing bowel issues from food at the facilities, according to the report.
“(A)lthough … standards require agents to remain cognizant of detainees’ religious and other dietary restrictions, many single adults had been receiving only bologna sandwiches,” inspectors wrote. “Some detainees on this diet were becoming constipated and required medical attention.”
The situation stems from loopholes in the U.S. immigration system that’s encouraging hundreds of thousands of migrants to cross the border illegally to claim asylum, a process that can take years to fully adjudicate.
In the Rio Grande Valley alone, Border Patrol agents have apprehended 223,263 through May of fiscal year 2019, or about 124 percent more than the year prior. RGV Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch told reporters during a press event Monday that figure includes 258 MS13 Gang members and 96 members of the ruthless 18th Street Gang, The American Mirror reports.
It’s the same situation across the entire southern border, with staggering increases in “asylum seekers” in every sector, most recently driven by migrants from Africa making their way through Mexico to join others from Central America.
Border Patrol agents apprehended a total of 593,507 illegal immigrants through May of fiscal year 2019, including 132,887 in May alone.
To put the crisis into perspective, Border Patrol apprehended a total of 396,579 in all of fiscal year 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows.
Experts expect the total for fiscal year 2019 to eclipse 1 million.