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Homeland Security

DHS Inspector General: Overcrowded Migrant Centers 'A Ticking Time Bomb'

By VOA News July 3, 2019

A new report by the Homeland Security Inspector General describes appalling conditions and wretched overcrowding at migrant detention centers in Texas with a top manager at one of the facilities saying he fears for the security of his staff, calling the situation a "ticking time bomb."

The report released Tuesday includes numerous pictures of people behind cages lying on bare cement floors with nothing to do, men in a room with standing room only, men and women wearing surgical masks appearing to be reaching out to the photographers for attention.

One photo shows 88 men packed inside a room designed to hold 40 with one pressing a cardboard sign reading "help" against the window.

The report says some migrants deliberately clog the toilets with socks and blankets just to get the chance to get out of the cages while the toilets are fixed.

The inspector general's report says the opportunity for personal hygiene is scarce and that many migrants became ill and constipated from the diet of bologna sandwiches that they are given.

The inspector general called on the DHS to "take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley."

A group of Democratic lawmakers who visited one facility Monday called conditions there "horrifying."

Critics blame the overcrowding, in part, on the Trump administration for refusing to release migrants seeking asylum.

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