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A not-yet released report by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General, reported CNN on Friday, has found "dangerous overcrowding" and unsanitary conditions at an El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol processing facility following an unannounced inspection. (Photo: Department of Homeland Security/IG Office/via CNN)

'Beyond Barbaric': Internal Govt Report Reveals Migrants Forced to Stand on Toilets for Breathing Space at Overcrowded US Detention Center

"This is insane. Not only can they not move, they can't breathe, they can't eat, they can't do anything like this. Children have died and will continue to die if this is not stopped now."

Jake Johnson

A federal immigrant detention facility in El Paso, Texas is so unsanitary and overcrowded that migrants held by the Trump administration were forced to wear "soiled clothing for days or weeks" at a time and stand on toilets to find breathing space in their cells.

That's according to a not-yet-released report by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, which was obtained exclusively by CNN on Friday.

"The administration's continued treatment of immigrants is beyond barbaric—and shows exactly how racist and xenophobic Trump is."
—Rep. Barbara Lee

According to CNN, the inspector general visited the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center unannounced earlier this month and found that the Border Patrol facility—which has a maximum capacity of 125 people—was holding around 750 migrants on May 7 and 900 on May 8.

The report—which observers described as "absolutely appalling" and "horrific"—also detailed overcrowding in the detention center's individual cells.

CNN, citing logs from the inspector general, reported that a "cell with a maximum capacity of 12 held 76 detainees, another with a maximum capacity of eight held 41, and another with a maximum capacity of 35 held 155."

"We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets," states the report.

When Trump administration officials were notified of the watchdog's findings, they appeared to place blame on the immigrants themselves.

"The current situation on the border represents an acute and worsening crisis. Our immigration is not equipped to accommodate a migration pattern like the one we are experiencing now," DHS said in a written response to the inspector general obtained by CNN. "The speed with which illegal migrants are transiting through Mexico to reach our southern border is frustrating our best efforts to respond quickly."

RAICES, the largest immigration legal services non-profit in Texas, expressed outrage at CNN's report on the inspector general's findings.

"This is insane. Not only can they not move, they can't breathe, they can't eat, they can't do anything like this," RAICES tweeted. "Children have died and will continue to die if this is not stopped now."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), in a tweet responding to the watchdog's findings, called for the resignation of every Trump administration official "involved in this horrific, cruel, and inhumane policy."

"The administration's continued treatment of immigrants is beyond barbaric," said Lee, "and shows exactly how racist and xenophobic Trump is."


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Abortion Rights Groups Sue to Block Post-Roe Trigger Laws in Louisiana

"We will be fighting to restore access in Louisiana and other states for as long as we can," said one reproductive rights campaigner.

Jake Johnson ·


Poll Shows Majority Oppose Supreme Court's Attack on Fundamental Rights

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they're now concerned the court will attack marriage equality and the right to obtain contraception.

Julia Conley ·


Global Windfall Profit Tax of 90% Needed to Address 'Catastrophic' Food, Climate Crises: Oxfam

Taxing the excess profits of large corporations within the G7 alone could raise an estimated $430 billion to fight world hunger, deliver vaccines to the entire world, and make a giant dent in the fight to drive down fossil fuel pollution and jumpstart the necessary renewable energy transition.

Jon Queally ·


NATO to Boost Ranks of High-Readiness Forces by 650% to Over 300,000

Anti-war campaigners responded that "this is not the path to peace and will not make the world safer."

Jake Johnson ·


Ilhan Omar Says Plan to Fix Supreme Court Must Include Impeachment Probes

"We need an impeachment investigation into Clarence Thomas' role in the January 6th coup, as well as into Gorsuch, Alito, Barrett, and Kavanaugh's testimony on Roe during their confirmation hearings," said the Minnesota Democrat.

Jake Johnson ·

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