Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar is calling on the Department of Homeland Security watchdog to immediately look into Border Patrol facility conditions in the El Paso area, including an outrageous report that officials have deemed as countless as 150 parties with “flu-like conditions” in “a single harbouring area” amid the coronavirus crisis that has already hit other detention facilities across the U.S.

“Detainees are of the view that the conditions at Border Patrol Station One are wholly inappropriate, ” Rep. Escobar tells DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari , was indicated that jailed parties have said they’ve needed adequate access to the most basic but vital of pieces necessary to their well-being during this pandemic, including soap and bathroom tissue. Due to this crowding, detainees aren’t able to practice social distancing either, as recommended by the CDC.

Escobar further notes that CBP is failing to be transparent about the well-being of detainees and its own employees, writing that “While U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement( ICE) offers publicly available data on its website relating to confirmed contingencies among detainees and staff, CBP has no such mechanism to date. In fact, CBP has refused to provide any data when solicited explicitly. The health and safety of all is paramount, including for those in our custody.”

“Despite the urgent insistence of public health officials, millions of beings in ICE and CBP equipment are being denied basic cares to combat COVID-1 9, even access to soap to cleanse their hands in some instances, ” the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas said in a statement posted. “We have heard many more disturbing stories in numerou facilities.” The radical has also filed individual complaints with Cuffari, saying “The COVID-1 9 public health emergency presents a particularly’ life-and-death jeopardy of severe illness and death’ to people in immigration detention facilities like Border Patrol Station 1. ”

“These equipment are’ congregate environments–that is, places where people live, eat, and sleep in close proximity, ” the complaint continues. “Such congregate environments present a heightened jeopardy for COVID-1 9 transfer, as shown by the virus’s rapid spread on cruise liner and in nursing homes. The extremely high rate of dissemination at the Rikers Island jail displays the particular risk to beings in detention facilities.”

While CBP won’t say if anyone in its custody have were positive for COVID-1 9, as of April 4, 13 beings in ICE custody have been confirmed to have tested positive, while 55 ICE hires have also tested positive, including seven who work at detention facilities. Despite an onslaughtof announces expecting the agency release detainees as a course exercised control over the pandemic, ICE has freed only a small number of beings where reference is has thousands of people detained, many of whom don’t have to be detained in the first place.

“In the middle of a pandemic, it is urgent that your agency investigate these reports immediately, ” Escobar tells Cuffari in her word. “If CBP continues with this degree of inaction, there could be a severe outbreak of COVID-1 9 among this vulnerable population and throughout the El Paso region.”

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