Five Border Detention Facilities Get Clean Bills of Health
A year after U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP) facilities were overwhelmed by waves of illegal aliens, conditions haveimproved in South Texas.
Unannouncedgovernment inspections of five detention centers in Laredo and San Antonio lastFebruary found water, food, toilets, sinks, basic hygiene supplies and beddingwere in plentiful supply and good working order.
“We observed clean facilities and verified that temperatures and ventilation in the holding rooms were appropriate,” stated a newly released report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).
The onlydeficiency cited was a lack of on-site showers at four of the facilities. But,the report added, “no detainees were approaching the detention time thresholdwhen a shower would be required.”
The findings were a welcome turnaround from OIG’s 2019 inspection that identified “dangerous overcrowding” and a host of other problems at border facilities. (Contrary to bogus media reports, there were no kids in cages, however. That story was sooo 2014.)
OIG’s latest report generated no mediaheadlines; positive news isn’t news where CBP is concerned. Lawmakers whoordered the inspections were equally mute when inspectors failed to findproblems.
But while the OIG report reflects substantialimprovement from a year ago, it can be taken with a grain of salt. Only fivefacilities were reviewed, and they were no longer swamped by the migrant surgethat swept across the border in 2019. Also, the February inspection wasconducted before COVID-19 started to complicate matters.
Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan announced last week that border apprehensions in August hit 50,000, up from 10,000 from July. But, in a move that could ease potential crowding problems, CBP has been swiftly removing many of the recent migrants under public-health protocols.
The next round of OIG inspections at otherborder facilities will tell whether the progress noted in the Laredo sector isa trend or an aberration.