Dallas — President Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on all goods from Mexico, comes in response to the surge of migrants coming to the U.S. seeking asylum. In April, nearly 100,000 people were apprehended. A 12-year high is expected for May.
Department of Homeland Security watch dogs made a shocking discovery at an El Paso Border Patrol facility earlier this month. Hundreds of migrants were crammed into rooms and cells, in “dangerous” and “unsanitary” conditions.
The Inspector General’s report said at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center , which has a maximum capacity to hold 125 migrants, they found it was holding up to 900 people. The report describes “standing room only conditions” and “detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space.” One cell with a maximum capacity of 35 held 155 people.
The findings come on the heels of a recent dramatic increase in migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. On Wednesday, Border Patrol agents in El Paso apprehended more than 1,000 people crossing a border fence, the largest one day arrest yet.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said DHS is currently holding more than 80,000 migrants in custody. Earlier this month, McAleenan addressed the crisis at the border on “Face the Nation.”
“I’m very concerned about the conditions. These are not appropriate facilities for families and children in particular,” he said.
Families make up the bulk of the apprehensions. Between January and April of this year, of the more than 306,000 people apprehended at the southern border, more than half were family units.
Andrew Seely of the Migration Policy Institute said Mexico is already trying to curb the flow of migrants.
“Since 2014, the Mexican government has actually deported more people to Central America than the United States has,” Seely said. “Mexico has a fairly active enforcement regime, but it’s not clear that it’s up to the task right now.”
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