More speak out on overcrowding at Border Patrol jails

By: Daniela Fierro Email
By: Daniela Fierro Email

LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) -- On Monday, a fire code inspection at a local Border Patrol station was reported with overcrowding in cells where detainees are housed.

Now, more are speaking publicly about what's behind it.

At an inspection Saturday the Laredo Fire Marshal's found holding cells at the Laredo south station filled beyond capacity.

The cause of that, critics are presenting as a simple numbers problem.

Laredo sector is getting hundreds of detainees shipped here per day, according to two sources.

Touching on health, safety and border security, a union representative says the Laredo sector is stretched too thin.

Along the Rio Grande, agents covering the 171 miles of Laredo sector's border face increasing demands.

Hector Garza, a representative of the local border patrol union calls this a crisis.

Garza met with congressman Henry Cuellar today, sharing concerns about the demands on the valley, and how that's affecting other places.

Garza says 400 detainees are being transferred per day from the valley to Laredo sector.

Cells that were designed for smaller numbers are now filling up.

With more detainees being processed indoors you might see fewer agents working outdoors, and that could mean a question of border security.

Cuellar is concerned about the health and safety of a new crop of migrants.

Among those caught in the valley, many are from Central America, and many are children.

In addition to the six cells reported in violation of code at the Laredo south station, Garza says detainees are being kept in interview rooms without water and restroom fixtures.

The union is asking for local management to start coming up with solutions to these multiple charges.

KGNS reached out to a Laredo sector Border Patrol representative today, who says they are preparing to talk on the issue tomorrow.


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