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It is Congress’ responsibility to “step up” and provide proper funding for the Border Patrol’s processing duties, a top official said.
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd called on Congress to do more during an appearance on “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday, saying that routine overcrowding and the inability for his agents to hold migrants “without proper facilities” for the long term could further complicate the situation at the border.
The comments come one day after border agents temporarily closed a Texas processing center in the wake of a migrant teen’s death.
US CLOSES TEXAS PROCESSING CENTER AMID FLU OUTBREAK AFTER TEEN MIGRANT’S DEATH
“If we don’t have Congress step up to give us the funding that we need, we’re going to continue to see these issues arise, and continue to have serious tragedies while they’re in our custody,” Judd said.
Host Eric Shawn asked Judd if the death of the 16-year-old from Guatemala is a sign of a “potential health crisis” at the border.
“Absolutely,” Judd said, adding that he is scheduled to work at the same McAllen, Texas, center later on Wednesday. “We’re seeing overcrowding like we’ve never seen before.”
The teen migrant died from complications from influenza and became the fifth minor to die after being placed in U.S. custody since December.
Judd called the “five too many” deaths “not acceptable.”
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“When you have overcrowding of people and you are holding people in custody for six days… without showers and without proper facilities – bedding facilities and so on and so forth, you’re going to have problems like this,” Judd said.
“ICE can’t take them off of our hands because they don’t have the bed spaces,” Judd said of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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