Border patrol officials in Texas announced Wednesday that they’ve opened a second temporary housing facility in Texas to deal with the latest surge of illegal immigration, less than a month after opening another facility to accommodate the influx. The news comes even as border agents report apprehending about 1,500 illegal aliens per day in an increasing wave that threatens to overwhelm border resources.
CBP explained that its newest facility can house up to 500 illegal aliens at a time and will help alleviate overcrowding at the agency's already-full border stations. CBP reported:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responding to the recent surge in unaccompanied alien children, family units along our Southwest border with the opening of a temporary holding facility near Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge. The temporary facility – near the CBP Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge in Donna, Texas, 16 miles east of Hidalgo, TX – can hold up to 500 people and will remain open pending any changes in the volume of people arriving at the ports of entry or crossing the border between the ports in the South Texas area until they are transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“This effort is designed to minimize the impact to border security operations while fulfilling our humanitarian efforts. We will work closely with all our partner agencies to maintain efficient operations,” said Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor Commander Manuel Padilla, Jr.
The facility in Donna is the second temporary structure CBP has opened following an increase in immigration that began in October, when more than 46,000 illegal aliens – including nearly 7,000 unaccompanied children and more than 13,000 members of family units – were apprehended at the Southwest U.S. border.
CBP announced the opening of its first temporary facility to deal with the influx back in November, explaining that the structure in Tornillo can also hold up to 500 people and will be used to process an overflow of illegal immigrants until further notice. Immigration officials explained the temporary facilities were necessary due to the fact that they’re currently housing about 41,000 illegal aliens in detention centers that typically accommodate between 31,000 and 34,000 people for up to 72 hours at a time.
At the time, CBP also announced they had temporarily reassigned about 150 border agents from California, Arizona and other areas to the Rio Grande Sector of the border to deal with the surge. That one sector alone dealt with nearly half of all October border crossings, apprehending 22,645 illegal aliens in its 1,254-mile jurisdiction over just 31 days.