EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After reports by immigration attorneys that witnessed first-hand the conditions at the Clint detention center, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allowed local media to tour the facility Wednesday afternoon.
The tour lasted about an hour with CBP agents showing only five areas of the detention center where unaccompanied children walk through freely during their processing.
No cameras or cellphones were allowed inside during the tour.
Matthew Harris, the facility’s operator, said the center’s capacity allows 106 children to be housed inside, and currently, there are 117. Earlier this week the federal government removed most of the children from the facility. The next day about a third were returned.
The facility includes a laundry room as well as a storage area for food pallets that contained oatmeal and Ramen noodles. There were nine holding room with a restroom which according to Harris, is where siblings and cousins are kept together.
There is also an outside area where the children are allowed to play. Harris showed the media a supply closet stocked with baby bottles, diapers, and medical supplies.
CBP El Paso Sector Chief Aaron Hill said his agents are facing a lack of resources. The agency is spending more than $4,000 a day in the Clint detention center alone, compared to $1,000 just a year ago.
The United States Senate passed a $4.6 billion emergency aid bill to help address the costs associated with caring for the thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children crossing through the border.
Earlier in the week, the House passed their own version of an emergency aid bill, however, the Republican led Senate said they do not want to reconcile the two bills. The House can either accept the Senate’s bill or leave it, something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said was not an option.