Inside look of McAllen Border Patrol station
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 02:48:29 GMT —
Border Patrol told Action 4 News the number of overall immigrant apprehensions has decreased since June, and the number of family units and children has also dropped during that time by about 40-50 percent.
We got an inside look at the McAllen Border Patrol station.
However, our cameras and cellphones were not allowed in this processing facility, and requests for on camera interviews were denied.
Border Patrol's RGV Sector Division Chief Robert Duff walked us through the center explaining how immigrants are typically processed.
Tuesday, the facility was holding an estimated 350 immigrants, which is just under its maximum capacity.
The center has 10 concrete holding cells and five additional cells for isolation.
Immigrants are separated based on age and gender.
Duff said that on a good day, 1,300 people can be processed in 24 hours, which is a significant increase from past years.
Border Patrol told Action 4 News the goal is to process immigrants as quickly as possible because this is a temporary facility with no showers.
We asked about the processing times for minors and were told the average time is currently 21 hours, and there are only six kids in custody that have been processed for over 72 hours.
In June, that number was much greater.
During processing, immigrants give their belongings to agents, they are evaluated for health and skin infections, and their information is placed in a database along with a photo, retinal and fingerprint scan.
Criminal background checks are completed.
Border Patrol said the decrease in immigrant apprehensions had made it more manageable to process them.
During our tour, questions were directed to Border Patrol Division Chief Duff.
We were not allowed to speak to immigrants inside.
Border Patrol told us that the number of immigrants captured has fallen from June to July from 1200 a day to 900.
As of Tuesday, 1,000 immigrants were in Border Patrol custody in the RGV alone.