The Biden administration for the first time on Tuesday allowed news media inside a Customs and Border Protection facility facing unprecedented overcrowding due to the recent surge of migrant children and families.
The photos revealed a severely overcrowded tent structure with more than 4,000 people, including children and families, were crammed into a space intended for 250, and the youngest were kept in a large playpen with mats on the floor for sleeping.
Representatives from the press were allowed inside a temporary tent facility in Donna, Texas, which was meant to hold 250 migrants but had a population of more than 4,100 as of Tuesday. Of those, 3,400 were unaccompanied minors and more than 2,000 have waited beyond the legal limit of 72 hours, according to Customs and Border Protection.
A reporter stated that they saw a “pod” designed for 32 migrant children under CDC guidelines now holding 615.
This means that the facility is at 1700% pandemic capacity.
THREAD — Reporters toured the temporary border facility in Donna, TX today.
The Biden admin allowed pooled coverage for the first time.
We saw a “pod” designed for 32 migrant children under CDC guidelines now holding 615.
The facility is at 1700% pandemic capacity.
📸:TV Pool pic.twitter.com/cJTPUAxXmc
— Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) March 30, 2021
On Tuesday, journalists watched children being processed. They went into a small room for lice inspection and a health check. Their hair was hosed down and towels were tossed in a black bin marked “Lice.” The kids — many of whom have made long journeys to get to the border, including stretches on foot — were also checked for scabies, fever and other ailments. No COVID-19 test was administered unless a child showed symptoms.
The facility spans 184,000 square feet and requires a staff of more than 500 agents. It takes $16 million per month to run the facility.
“As I have said repeatedly, a Border Patrol facility is no place for a child,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Tuesday. “We have been working around the clock, in coordination with HHS, to quickly move unaccompanied children out of these crowded Border Patrol stations and into the care of HHS so they can be placed with family members or other sponsors.”
This is what was allowed for the reporters to see, we can imagine what is happening in other areas where the reporters weren’t allowed.