Some immigration detention centers are almost empty, according to a report in the UK’s Guardian newspaper. The report claims that at least three centers are operating below capacity, despite the fact that President Donald Trump and his administration claim the system is at ‘breaking point.’
Last week, there were nearly 2,000 empty beds in detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, with the center in Texas operating at 26% capacity and the Pennsylvania center at just 19%. A further shelter had been changed from a family shelter to a center for adult women only.
The Trump administration has repeatedly claimed that the system is overwhelmed and the US cannot accept any more migrants coming across the Mexican border. However, these figures suggest that there is capacity in migrant centers but the administration has decided to limit access.
Trump has expressed a desire to limit asylum applications, which are legal under US and international law. This has created backlogs of migrants, some of whom have been stuck in border towns on the Mexican side of the border, adding to the sense of crisis.
However, with detention centers on US soil operating well below capacity, it appears that the administration is working to create the very chaos Trump has publicly criticized. Trump began his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. It now seems his policies are deliberately harming both migrants and America’s infrastructure for dealing with them.