Gov't Seeking to Build Temporary Immigration Hearing Facilities
BROWNSVILLE - Migrants who arrive to the U.S. seeking asylum through the Rio Grande Valley's ports of entries could soon be returned to Mexico.
They will wait there as their case goes through the system.
The federal government confirmed it is searching for locations to build facilities for that purpose.
Some South Texas leaders believe the Gateway Bridge in downtown Brownsville could be the place for some new tents.
They would function as temporary immigration hearing facilities.
The City of Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz spoke to Customs and Border Protection officials Monday.
CBP agreed they're considering sites in Yuma, Arizona, Laredo, and Brownsville.
The tents were described as virtual immigration courtrooms.
"They plan to have immigration judges through virtual means through video conferencing. They plan to have between 20 and 27 courtrooms within this tent facility to assess and process these asylum seekers," says Saenz.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed their search in a statement sent to CHANNEL 5 NEWS:
"MPP cases are currently docketed at two existing immigration court facilities, San Diego and El Paso. However, multiple constraints, including capacity and lack of infrastructure, hinder efforts to implement MPP at these locations. In order to address these physical limitations, a U.S. Government team conducted site visits with plans to erect temporary, soft-sided structures to serve as MPP-only hearing locations."
Laredo leaders were told their site would be close to the international bridges, right by the riverbank.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to CBP officials about the possible site in Brownsville.
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