The newest immigration holding facility, located in Donna, Texas, opened August 5, 2019 and an additional facility in Tornillo, Texas, will open on Friday August 9, 2019. Together, these two structures can hold up to 4,500 single adults. All of the new facilities are weatherproof, climate-controlled spaces that include a variety of services to accommodate the needs of incoming migrants.
U.S. Customs and Borders Protection personnel are working to process an unprecedented number of migrants arriving along the Southwest Border. The volume is placing immigration processing centers, designed to accommodate short term stays of 72 hours or less, under severe strain.
Between May and August 2019 the agency worked diligently to increase its holding capacity by 6,500 people, standing up six temporary steel-framed structures to address the ongoing need for space to accommodate the influx of families and single adults entering the U.S. from Mexico.
The additional capacity of these critical structures provides much needed help during the crisis.
Within two days, the facilities in Donna and Yuma, designed to hold 500 people each, were at capacity as the number of incoming migrants continued to surge. In some locations, the volume of apprehensions between 2018 and 2019 increased by over 300 percent.
Services provided include hot meals and snacks, hygiene kits, medical services, transportation, sleeping mats, blankets, drinking water, diapers, wipes, baby formula and clothing sets.
Employees across the agency are working overtime and sacrificing family and personal time to dedicate their efforts to standing up the additional spaces and to ensure that incoming family units have a suitable place to be processed and to await transfer out of custody.
Additional safety features like security guards, weather proofing, and cameras also keep migrants and agents secure while providing respite from the escalating summer temperatures along the border.