Border Patrol officials in the Rio Grande Valley Sector are holding about 6,700 migrants in detention centers designed to hold about half that, a local news outlet reports. The vast majority of those migrants came to the U.S. from the Northern Triangle area of Central America.
Migrant detention centers in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of South Texas are currently filled to double their capacity, according to a report from KGBT CBS3 Valley Central on Thursday evening. The article states that while capacity is at about 3,300, officials are holding more than 6,700 migrants — mostly Central American family units.
The first ladies of Guatemala and Honduras came to South Texas on Thursday to visit the detention centers in the Rio Grande Valley.
At a Catholic Charities facility in McAllen, Texas, Guatemalan First Lady Patricia Marroquin De Morales told reporters, “They lie to the people when they tell them to come and sometimes they die on the journey and that’s why we are here.”
Honduran First Lady Ana Garcia Carias also visited the shelters and facilities. “We’re going to have a talk with DHS staff of United States and we are going to talk about what we can expect from over the next few months and how we can help,” she said.
The vast majority of migrants being apprehended by Border Patrol agents are from these two countries, according to the Southwest Border Migration Report. So far this fiscal year, nearly 90,000 migrants families from Honduras and Guatemala have been apprehended after illegally crossing the border from Mexico. In addition, Border Patrol agents apprehended another 33,000 unaccompanied minors from these two countries.
“We have campaigns in our country, we show our people the risks of migrating and we also explain how to do the migrating legally,” Carias said in response to a question from KGBT reporter Sydney Hernandez. “We also have programs that offer other solutions to migration and stay in our country.”
Earlier on Thursday, Rio Grande Valley Sector officials announced the expansion of the detention facility in Donna, Texas. The expansion increases capacity by an additional 500 migrants. Another facility in the Yuma Sector is expected to open later this month.