EAGLE PASS, Texas — The Department of Homeland Security began construction of a soft-sided migrant detention facility in a remote part of Maverick County. This marks the first project of its kind as part of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ Southwest Border Mass Irregular Migration plan. The facility is expected to be operational before June.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, increasing detention and processing capabilities is a key component of Secretary Mayorkas’ plan to address the anticipated surge in illegal migration as a result of the termination of the CDC Title 42 Emergency COVID-19 order. A judge issued a temporary restraining order barring the action, pending a hearing on May 13.
On Tuesday, construction crews moved quickly to erect the initial framing near a Cold War Air era radar outpost 10 miles north of Eagle Pass. The facility, according to a DHS source, will temporarily house up to 500 migrants.
Existing Border Patrol detention facilities have faced issues with overcrowding in recent months. The new facility still may not be sufficient if Title 42 ends.
The facility comes with a substantial price tag. Roughly $6 million per month will be required to fund basic operations. A similar facility was opened in April 2021. Once completed, the two facilities within the Del Rio Sector will result in a combined annual operating cost of $144 million.
Staffing needed to process migrants and provide security will be comprised of Border Patrol agents from surrounding stations. Some northern border agents will also be transferred, according to the source. The opening of the facility will likely result in the reduction of already reduced field patrols in the region.
The 96,000 square-foot center will include a medical clinic, detention space for 500, computer terminals, kitchen/dining areas, and recreational zones.
Of the more than 201,000 migrant arrests in April, more than 41,000 were encountered within the Del Rio Sector.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.