Sunday, October 17

Overcrowding at Border Patrol centers causes outbreak of lice and Covid among migrants

Overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Many immigrant families who have arrived in the United States in recent weeks will be transferred to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) to alleviate overcrowding at railway stations Border Patrol, reports the NBC network.

As of this Saturday, Border Patrol processing facilities had 585% of migrants over their capacity, two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials told the network.

Specifically, in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest sector for border crossings, there were 6,671 immigrants in a facility with a capacity for 965 people, according to one of the officials, whose names NBC does not reveal. which caused the spread of covid-19, other viruses and lice among migrants.

More than 50,000 migrants were recently released without a hearing date and given a date to report to an ICE office within 60 days, but approximately 15,000 did not, officials also told the network.

Security officials emphasize that, in an unprecedented action, ICE, an agency generally in charge of the detention, enforcement, and expulsion of undocumented immigrants, will now conduct health screenings, offer covid vaccines, inform immigrants of their legal rights and the connect with non-governmental organizations that can help them.

Asylum officers will continue to make initial determinations for migrant applicants for that status, either at ICE facilities or by phone, they further told NBC.

After being served by ICE, the families will be released with ankle monitors and a court date to present their asylum case or put on flights for quick deportation, according to data from DHS officials.

Spokespersons for ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and DHS did not respond to a request for comment from the network.

Pro-immigrant groups argue in a lawsuit that the policy initiated by the Administration of Republican Donald Trump (2017-2021), known as Title 42, which expels immigrants back to Mexico before they can file an asylum application, should reach its end.

While on the other hand, the Republican attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, requested in a court order on July 15 that the Government of President Joe Biden continue to apply that rule without exceptions.

Keep reading: Biden Administration defends expedited deportations of families through ICE

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