Spanberger says immigrant detainment facilities at border in Texas are ‘overstressed’

Jul 23, 2019
In the News


Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th, on Friday traveled with a bipartisan delegation to the country’s southern border and described conditions at immigrant detainment facilities as “overcrowded and overstressed.”

Spanberger said in an interview Monday that she joined over a dozen other members of Congress on a daylong trip that included a border entry point and detention facilities for adults, families and unaccompanied minors.

Spanberger described acute overcrowding at the U.S. Border Patrol Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, where she saw hundreds of people, including family units, huddled in emergency Mylar blankets.

“It was inhospitable,” Spanberger said. “The facilities were not built for the way they are being used.”

Spanberger said conditions at a facility for unaccompanied minors in McAllen were less dire and said they were akin to a “summer camp.” At a large holding facility in Donna, Texas, Spanberger said women and children lived together under a permanent tent and described conditions as “clean but very austere.”

“They were being provided for, but it’s still a giant room filled with women and children. It’s not a normal circumstance, by any stretch of the imagination.”

Spanberger called for comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform from Congress. She said that what she termed the Trump administration’s shifting policies toward asylum-seekers and cutting of aid to Central American nations have compounded problems at the border.

“There is a crisis in terms of the number of people coming across and the lack of capacity that those that are tasked with enforcement have,” Spanberger said. “We’re seeing horrific conditions because their task is to detain individuals and there is no space to house them. … It is a tragic circumstance for everyone involved.”

Recent Posts

Spanberger Presses Social Security Administration to Address Backlogs & Delays Impacting Virginians

Current Average National Wait Times for an Initial Disability Decision, Reconsideration Decision, & Hearing Decision Range from 229 to 361 Days WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger yesterday pressed the Social Security Administration (SSA) to address backlogs and delays impacting Virginians after receiving an increase in casework requests related to SSA wait times on initial […]

Jul 11, 2024
Local Issues

Spanberger, Virginia Lawmakers Issue Statement on Meeting with Postmaster General DeJoy to Discuss Postal Service Delays

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger and a bipartisan group of Virginia congressional lawmakers released the following statement after meeting with U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to receive a status update on the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) ongoing work to improve service in Virginia while implementing new efficiency reforms. The meeting was attended by […]

ICYMI: Spanberger, Local Police Chiefs Host Public Safety-Focused Telephone Town Hall

Spanberger Was Joined by Prince William County Chief of Police Peter Newsham & Culpeper Chief of Police Chris Settle WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger — a former federal law enforcement officer — last night hosted an open, public telephone town hall focused on addressing community safety concerns and fostering dialogue between residents of Virginia’s […]