According to the latest from the Customs and Border Protection at one south Texas migrant detention facility, the situation at the southern border has gone from bad to worse.
At last count, the Donna complex, which is designed to hold 250 detainees, is currently housing 1,800 people. That is 729% its intended capacity. The consequence of that, according to immigrant-rights and advocacy groups, is squalor.
“Some of the boys said that conditions were so overcrowded that they had to take turns sleeping on the floor,” said Neha Desai, an attorney representing migrant youth.
Desai said her interviews with children there reveal that many are hungry, some haven’t showered for up to seven days, and that there is no possible way to safely social distance, even as other detention facilities have seen an increase in COVID-19 diagnoses.
Some of the children were outwardly emotional about their situation, and Desai said several lamented that they, “never saw the sun.”
“We appreciate the extraordinary challenge that the government faces in undoing the damage of the prior administration’s immigration policies,” Desai remarked, taking a swipe at former President Trump. “That said, it is deeply concerning to see young children in facilities for days on end, unable to take a shower, call their families or see the sunlight.”
The Biden administration still avoids labeling the situation at the border as a “crisis.”