Border Patrol officials unveil new facility designed to hold migrants in Arizona

Saturday, June 29, 2019
By Paul Martin

Chelsea Curtis
June 29, 2019

U.S. Border Patrol officials in Arizona hosted tours Friday of a new facility where detained undocumented migrants will be temporarily housed.

The “soft-sided” facility in Yuma, as it was described by officials, can hold up to 500 people in U.S. Border Patrol custody, according to a press release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The tent-like structures are weatherproof and climate-controlled, the press release states.

The $15 million contract for the facility also calls for showers, toilets, sinks and sleeping mats, among other resources. Heating and cooling is also included, along with kitchen and storage facilities, and custodial services.

Construction on the new facility began June 15 in response to overcrowding at the Border Patrol’s current facilities in the Yuma sector.

By May, the number of migrant apprehensions surged to more than 50,000, most from Central America and many traveling as families, agency officials said.

“Temporary facilities like this one were previously opened in Donna and El Paso, Texas to help with the overflow of migrants,” states the press release. “They successfully addressed the challenges of providing care for family units in custody.”

The Yuma sector can hold around 400 migrants at its processing center and three stations, however, the facilities have been beyond capacity in recent months.

In March, Arizona Border Patrol officials began releasing migrants into the Yuma community to alleviate overcrowding.

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