An El Paso Border Patrol official on Monday confirmed the terrible conditions at the migrant detention centers, including a culture of border agents’ derogatory treatment of the detainees.
Under the condition of keeping his identity concealed, a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol official told CNN reporter Nick Valencia that his boss would make fun of dead migrants.
“‘What difference does it make? It’s just another life,'” the border official quoted his supervisor as saying.
“He made a comment also regarding running over illegals,” the official added. “And I’m like, ‘You cannot run over people.'”
The CBP official also confirmed that the holding facilities are “filthy.”
“We have a maintenance and cleaning crew that clean the general area by the hallways,” the agent said. “But I have never seen them cleaning counters or cleaning toilets in the cells or cleaning sinks in the cells. Sometimes you go in a cell and there’s trash everywhere.”
“What do you say to [CBP] leaders who are saying migrants are getting basic human rights?” asked Valencia.
“What is basic human rights?” the official responded. “Toilet paper? Water from the sink? Or wearing the same clothing for days?”
CBP spokesman Roger Maier denied that the cleaning crews were neglecting the cells.
“Our contract custodial crews clean the facilities every shift (three times a day) including the cells,” Maier told TPM.
The anonymous agent’s account backs up House Democrats’ reports after they toured Texas’ border facilities in El Paso and Clint. According to the lawmakers, migrants were being denied medicine, showers, and even functioning sinks. They said that migrants were being told to drink water out of the cell toilets, a claim that the Department of Homeland Security denied.
On Tuesday, investigators at the Department of Homeland Security released photos showing how migrants had been forced into extremely cramped cells and cages.
CBP leadership has given conflicting accounts for the squalid conditions, which alternate between supposedly not having enough funding to deal with the overcrowding to denying that there are such issues to begin with.
Border agents working at the child migrant centers have also been rejecting donations of soap, diapers, and other basic necessities.
Watch the interview below:
A Border Patrol agent tells CNN about the "filthy" holding cells at the detention centers and how his boss joked about dead migrants. pic.twitter.com/aA3uqfsJJW
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) July 3, 2019