The following cases and patterns of persistent toxic behavior are from a March 2020 complaint, by the ACLU to the CRCL and DHS OIG, about Border Patrol Station 1 in El Paso, Texas failing to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Border Patrol Station 1 in El Paso failed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by any public health metric. Agents failed to inform those detained of vital public health information; make vital, basic logistical accommodations to mitigate and prevent spread of the virus amongst detained persons and agents; or provide basic sanitary needs to prevent dissemination of the virus. The complaint calls for an investigation of the conditions and recommends various needed protocols.”
“i. Held over 150 persons in a single room with persons exhibiting flu-like symptoms;
ii. Failed to provide information to detained individuals on the COVID-19 pandemic, such as recommended Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for preventing transmission of the virus;
iii. Held people in cells where they are forced to be in close contact with each other, including by sleeping approximately three feet apart;
iv. Failed to provide detained individuals with sufficient soap. (for example, migrants reported that in one bathroom, only one of six sinks had a soap dispenser that in fact contained soap);
v. Provided only a single square of toilet paper per use;
vi. Denied detained individuals access to hand sanitizer;
vii. Failed to provide adequate medical screening of detained individuals not exhibiting symptoms of illness; and
viii. Failed to ensure uniform access to personal protective equipment for everyone in the detention facility.”
Source: Shaw Drake and Jonathan Blazer, ACLU, Letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas, “Re: Unresolved Complaints of CBP Misconduct Require Immediate Attention and Accountability,” March 3, 2021.