A massive new migrant detention center will be opening close to the U.S.-Mexico border at the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry on the former site of a controversial shelter for migrant children.
According to The Washington Post, the 2,500-bed shelter will be a “large soft-sided structure” and work on it will begin this week.Roger Maier, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, told The Post that it will be designed to hold single adults who have crossed the border and have been taken into custody — it will not hold family units or unaccompanied children — and that it will “provide relief for overcrowded Border Patrol” stations.
After this shelter, the migrants will be transferred into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.
According to Maier, migrants will start arriving at the facility in late July or early August. Allegedly, they will receive three daily meals, showers, medical services, laundry, custodial services and temperature controls. These changes come after migrants are being held longer and longer.
Many other detention centers were not built for long-term detention and migrants aren’t able to bathe or lie down and the temperatures inside are extremely low.
The ground on which the detention center is being built was the site of major controversy and tragedy.
The Marcelino Serna Port of Entry, about 30 miles southeast of El Paso, was where a temporary shelter for unaccompanied migrant children from June 2018 to January 2019 was located. In December 2018, it held more than 2,700 children. But it closed in January 2019 after harsh criticism and protests for the treatment of the children.
Vice President Mike Pence visited a detention center in McAllen, Texas, on Friday, and even though he was met with people who had been detained for months and were hungry, thirty and hadn’t been allowed to shower, he still found a way to blame Congress and heap praise on the “care” of the migrants in the detention center.