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Tag: detention centers

Border Apprehensions Sharply Decline in June After Large Spike

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of migrants detained after crossing the Southwest border dropped in June for the first time this year.

Homeland Security announced a 28% decline in apprehensions from the previous month, with about 104,000 migrants detained in June.

While the flow of migrants typically slows down in the hotter summer months, the decline was steeper than expected. The number of apprehensions so far this year is 140% higher than the same time period last year.

“We are still in an ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis,” the department said in a statement. “We are past the breaking point and in a full-blown emergency. This situation should not be acceptable to any of us.”

The influx of migrants has caused crowded, unsanitary conditions at detention centers.

Border Patrol Chief Defends Detention Centers After ‘Concentration Camps’ Comparison

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said Thursday that comparing migrant detention facilities to concentration camps is “offensive.”

“I personally find them offensive,” Provost told the House Homeland Security subcommittee.

The remarks were in response to Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on Instagram on Monday, when she said “the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are.”

Some historians agreed with the congresswoman’s comparisons, but some Jewish groups took offense.

Provost said agents are “bringing toys in for children and buying them with their personal money. Agents are bringing in clothes. They’re feeding babies. They’re going above and beyond day in and day out to try to care for these individuals to the best of their ability. And this is not what they were trained or what they signed up for to do.”

Provost said Border Patrol agents are doing the best they can in the midst of a surge in migrants crossing the border.

“I have been forced to divert 40 to 60 percent of border patrol’s manpower away from the border as we process and care for nearly 435,000 families and children that have flooded across our southern border so far this year,” Provost said.

Border officials have been blasted by Homeland Security’s inspector general, who called the conditions at the detention centers “egregious violations.” The internal watchdog found nooses in detainee cells, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, moldy and dilapidated bathrooms, rotting food and overly restrictive segregation.

Advocates Discover Premature Baby in a Crowded Border Patrol Facility

A detention center, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys visiting a crowded Border Patrol facility in Texas made a startling discovery – a teenage girl in a wheelchair holding a tiny, prematurely born baby.

The lawyers said the baby, wrapped in a dirty towel and looking listless, was barely a month old, The Associated Press reports. The mother was in severe pain because of complications from an emergency cesarean section in Mexico.

“You look at this baby and there is no question that this baby should be in a tube with a heart monitor,” said Hope Frye, a volunteer with an immigrant advocacy group.

Since being in Border Patrol custody, the baby received no medical attention, the lawyers said.

The case sheds more light on the inhumane conditions that have been reported under the Trump administration by advocates and the Inspector General.

Since late last year, five children have died after being detained by the Border Patrol.

Inspector General: Immigration Detention Centers Filthy, Inhumane

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Several immigration detention centers are so riddled with problems that they “undermine the protection of detainees’ rights, their humane treatment, and the provision of a safe and healthy environment,” according to the Homeland Security inspector general.

Among the findings during unannounced visits were spoiled and moldy food, poor medical care and inadequate treatment of detainees, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports

Acting Inspector General John Kelly identified four detention centers with problems.

“Staff did not always treat detainees respectfully and professionally, and some facilities may have misused segregation,” the report found, adding that observers found “potentially unsafe and unhealthy detention conditions.”

Other Stories of Interest

Lawsuit: Border Patrol Destroyed Surveillance of Conditions at Detention Facilities

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol officials are accused in a lawsuit of destroying surveillance footage of poor conditions inside detention facilities in Arizona.

The National Immigration Law Center filed a motion Monday that alleged Border Patrol knowingly recorded over videos and handed over unwatchable footage, BuzzFeed reports. 

“This is yet another example of an agency going out of its way to keep the horrible conditions in these facilities out of the public eye,” Karen Tumlin, managing attorney for NILC, told BuzzFeed News.

Border Patrol officials declined to comment.

The facilities are used for detainees who are caught illegally crossing the border.

Photos released in August showed poor conditions at the facilities.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol’s ‘Icebox’ Conditions Raise Troubling Questions in Court

Detainees used these mylar mats to stave off the cold in detention centers.

Detainees used these mylar mats to stave off the cold in detention centers.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has come under fire from federal prosecutors and civil-rights advocates following the discovery that immigrants are forced to sleep on cold concrete floors.

Tucson.com reports that the floors were so called that they earned the nickname, hierleras,” or iceboxes.

A federal hearing on the issue began Monday, and U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury said he has “concerns” about the court filings.

Bury also referenced statistics that show most detainees are forced to stay in detention centers twice as long as the agency’s recommendation of 12 hours or less.

Border Patrol defended the actions, saying it’s doing the best with limited resources.

“But this court can’t be concerned with budgetary issues,” Bury said.

ICE Urges Justice Department to Reopen Privatized Facilities for Illegal Immigrants

ice sealBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement is urging the Justice Department to reopen at least two privatized facilities to help house an influx of illegal immigrants.

ICE says it needs up to 5,000 beds to house a record number of immigrants being detained and deported by the Obama administration, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Among consideration are at least three privately owned detention centers, including troubled facilities in Youngstown, Ohio, and Cibola County, New Mexico.

The Justice Department has sought to curtail its use of private prison because of an inspector general’s report that found higher rates of safety and security incidents.

“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates wrote in a memo to federal officials. “This is the first step in the process of reducing – and ultimately ending – our use of privately operated prisons.”

ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea declined to comment on negotiations with the Justice Department.

“ICE remains committed to providing a safe and humane environment for all those in its custody,” Elzea says. “ICE’s civil detention system reduces transfers, maximizes access to counsel and visitation, promotes recreation, improves conditions of confinement and ensures quality medical, mental health and dental care.”

Border Patrol Halts Flights to San Diego, Saying Backlog of Central American Immigrants Decreasing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s plan to alleviate the surge of Central American immigrants along the border of Mexico no longer involves flying children and families to San Diego, the USA Today reports.

The federal agency halted the experiment following a protest that blocked busloads of immigrants from reaching a processing facility in San Diego.

Border Patrol said the protest had nothing to do with the halt of plans and indicated the backlog of immigrants being held in Texas is decreasing.

The U.S. lacks sufficient family detention centers for immigrants, according to the USA Today.

It’s unclear how many flights to San Diego occurred before the transportation was stopped.