WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The Department of Health and Human Services says the facilities holding undocumented migrants are overcrowded and underfunded.
Officials with the department say that to accommodate the influx of migrants they plan to open three emergency shelters.
One shelter will be in south Texas and another at Oklahoma’s Fort Sill Military Base. The third site has not been confirmed.
El Paso Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar says current conditions inside El Paso Del Norte’s migrant processing center are disturbing.
“Detainees wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” said Escobar. “Migrants standing on toilets to make room and gain breathing space.”
A recent report by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found the conditions in El Paso to be “unsanitary” and “dangerous”.
Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd says the situation is only going to get worse.
Hurd says instead of scrambling to accommodate the overflow of migrants, Congress should be working on speeding up the immigration process. Hurd said: “What we should be doing is not treating everybody as if they are an asylum seeker so that we can deport them even quicker so that you don’t have this backlog of folks sitting around.”
HHS says it plans to open the overflow facilities as early as this month.