The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has started the construction of a soft-sided facility that would be used for migrant detention in a remote area of Maverick Country, Texas. This project is the first of its kind, which is part of Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas’ Southwest Border Mass Irregular Migration plan. The said structure is expected to be of use before June.
Mayorkas’ plan includes increasing detention and processing capacity as critical components to help handle the expected surge in illegal immigrants following the end of the CDC’s Title 43 COVID-19 order. However, a judge has issued a temporary restraining order that would ban its termination, and this order is pending a hearing scheduled for May 13.
On Tuesday, construction workers have begun moving swiftly to set up the initial frame of the structure near a Cold War Air era radar outpost, standing 10 miles to the north of Eagle Pass. According to a DHS source, as reported by Breitbart, the said facility will be able to house up to 500 migrants temporarily.
DHS Migrant Detention Center Might not Be Enough for Upcoming Surge?
Current detention facilities used by Border Patrol have had issues with overcrowding in the past few months. This new facility may not even be big enough to handle the expected surge if Title 42 ends.
It, however, comes with a hefty price tag as around $6 million per month will be needed just to fund its basic operations. In April, a detention facility similar to this was also opened. When it’s completed, the two detention facilities found within the Del Rio Sector will have a combined annual operating cost of up to $144 million.
Border Patrol agents from stations around this new facility will serve as the personnel who will process the migrants and provide security in the area. They will be joined by a few agents from the northern border area, as per Breitbart’s DHS source. The opening of this detention facility will likely reduce field patrols in the region, which is already experiencing a shortage of patrols.
The center will span 96,000 square feet, and it will have a medical clinic, detention space, kitchen and dining areas, computer terminals, and recreational zones.
In April, the Border Patrol encountered 201,000 migrants, and over 41,000 were recorded within the Del Rio Sector.