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CBP to Open Temporary Facility to Hold Increased Levels of Unaccompanied Alien Children, Family Units in South Texas

Release Date: 
December 7, 2016

CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske addresses the media at press event
CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske
addresses the media at press event

DONNA, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responding to the recent surge in unaccompanied alien children, family units

along our Southwest border with the opening of a temporary holding facility near Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge. The temporary facility – near the CBP Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge in Donna, Texas, 16 miles east of Hidalgo, TX – can hold up to 500 people and will remain open pending any changes in the volume of people arriving at the ports of entry or crossing the border between the ports in the South Texas area until they are transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“This effort is designed to minimize the impact to border security operations while fulfilling our humanitarian efforts.  We will work closely with all our partner agencies to maintain efficient operations,” said Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor Commander Manuel Padilla, Jr.

CBP will process the Unaccompanied Alien Children and Family Units and once processing is complete,

Temporary facility opened by CBP near Donna, Texas
Temporary facility opened by CBP near
Donna, Texas

CBP will transfer them over to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS-ORR) or ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) respectively. In some instances, individuals may be required to stay in CBP holding for up to 72 hours.

“CBP officers and agents remain committed to upholding our border security mission and enforcing our immigration laws while treating those with whom we come in contact with the highest degree of professionalism, dignity and respect,” said Director, Field Operations David P. Higgerson, Laredo Field Office.

CBP is continuing to work with other federal and international agencies to discourage potential illegal border crossers from embarking on the dangerous trip to enter the U.S. illegally. Family Units are easy prey for coyotes and transnational criminal organizations and they can be subjected to robbery, violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking or forced labor.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017