A report from the DHS Inspector-General, based on inspection visits in March, found fault with the conditions migrants had to endure in Border Patrol custody during a time of record arrivals in the agency’s Del Rio, Texas sector. (Original link) It detected 1,164 people held for more than the federal maximum of 72 hours in 4 Border Patrol “short-term” facilities.
Though held for several days, migrants—including some minors—were unable to shower, made to clean themselves with wet wipes. “TEDS [transportation, escort, detention, and search] standards require that reasonable efforts be made to provide showers, soap, and clean towels to juvenile detainees who are approaching 48 hours and adult detainees who are approaching 72 hours in detention,” the report recalled. Agents falsely claimed in stations’ “e3” custodial logs that migrants had showered. Some logs even showed that male migrants were provided with feminine hygiene products.
Due to a lack of female agents at the Del Rio Sector’s processing facility in Eagle Pass, male agents often carried out searches and medical examinations of non-male migrants.
The report notes that migrants who do not speak English or Spanish at times did not have “instructions and relevant information” communicated to them.
One detainee we interviewed in the Senegalese language Wolof (with the assistance of contracted interpretation services) said that in his case, efforts were not made by Border Patrol agents or medical staff to provide interpretation services. The detainee indicated that he had asthma and was having shortness of breath but was not able to effectively communicate this. He also said that he had a religious dietary need and was not able to make this known to agents.
“However,” the report reads, “Border Patrol met standards related to management of personal property, prescription medications, and basic amenities, such as a clean change of clothing, mats and blankets, meals three times a day, water, and snacks.”
— “Del Rio Area Struggled With Prolonged Detention, Consistent Compliance With CBP’s TEDS Standards, and Data Integrity.” Washington: Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, September 22, 2022. <https://www.oig.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/assets/2022-10/OIG-22-80-Oct22.pdf>.
—Trovall, Elizabeth. “Migrants Denied Showers, Held for Days Past Federal Standards at Overcrowded Centers in Del Rio.” Houston Chronicle, October 4, 2022. <https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/immigration/article/Migrants-denied-showers-held-for-days-past-17484325.php>.