The US Border Patrol is opening a 1,040-person detention center in Texas due to the outcry that has arisen over conditions that children and adults were being detained in for up to 27 days without adequate food, water and sanitation.
The new center, intended to house migrants on a short term basis, features play areas for children, showers and other basic necessities that have not always been available at Border Patrol detention centers.
“This facility is much better for us, most importantly, it’s going to provide the adequate care and necessities for those that are in our custody,” said Chris Clem, deputy chief patrol agent for the El Paso Sector.
The Trump administration has enforced the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), a program that sends migrants to Mexico while they await their US court hearing. This has led to thousands of asylum seekers being left on the US-Mexico border in what are considered squalid conditions with the added risk of being targeted by cartels.
However, the MMP is now being phased out and asylum seekers are being flown to Guatemala in order to apply for asylum there.