The human crisis on the border is worse than previously reported. The government’s own investigation shows that the treatment of migrants by border officials is a “ticking time bomb” that will continue to escalate. The government has had the report since May, but its contents were only released last week.
This is Trahant Reports.
The Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security reviewed five Border Patrol facilities and two ports of entry in Texas and “observed serious overcrowding and prolonged detention of unaccompanied alien children, families, and single adults that require immediate attention.” The report warned of potential riot conditions because of the treatment of those seeking asylum in the United States.
“The current situation on the Southern Border represents an acute and worsening crisis.” The report said. “Our immigration system is not equipped to accommodate a migration pattern like the one we are experiencing now.”
This Inspector General reinforces observations made by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus after a recent visit to the border.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas, said not all of the women in detention had access to water and some of them had not had a bath or shower in more than two weeks.
Rep. Castro secretly recorded his visit on a mobile phone. Members of Congress were told by the Border Patrol not to take pictures during their visit.
Other members of Congress reported that the Border Patrol was dismissive of their oversight visit. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, wrote on Twitter, that many of the children she spoke with spoke Indigenous languages. Quote: “Some I met were budding trilingual (speak K’iche’, Spanish & learning English).”
Meanwhile, a U.S. District Court Judge issued a ruling Tuesday that required the government to adjudicate asylum claims faster or release migrants from custody. “The purposes of immigration detention are simple and straightforward: to facilitate removal (if removal is deemed justified), and to prevent flight and harm to the community,” wrote Judge Marsha Pechman from Seattle.
The White House issued a statement calling the decision a “war on the rule of law.”
“A single, unelected district judge in Seattle issued an injunction that prevents the government from ensuring the detention of those aliens who cross the border unlawfully until the completion of their immigration court proceedings,” the White House said.
“The decision only incentivizes smugglers and traffickers, which will lead to the further overwhelming of our immigration system by illegal aliens. No single district judge has legitimate authority to impose his or her open borders views on the country. We must restore our democracy and ensure Americans have the voice to which they are entitled under our Constitution,” the White House statement said.
Congress, the Trump administration, and indeed, the country, remain deeply divided about what steps should be taken next. And so the crisis on the border is certain to grow worse.
I am Mark Trahant.