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Judge Denies Injunction Against Valley CBP

8 months 2 weeks 4 days ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 October 17, 2019 11:08 AM October 17, 2019 in News - Local

WESLACO – A federal judge ruled not to grant an injunction against Customs and Border Protection in the Rio Grande Valley. 

The decision came months after the request was made in August.

A group of attorneys representing people who had been detained in crowded conditions.

Testimony was shared in court by the men who were processed by CBP for longer than the 72 hours established by guidance.

One man was detained for longer than 50 days. They also shared how they had to sleep in shifts on the concrete floor since the holding areas were over capacity. 

Lawyers and relatives were also growing concerned about the detained that were in prolonged processing.

Detainees were often unable to communicate with relatives or lawyers until they were released into Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

It led to concerns among families fearing their relatives were lost.

CBP explained before the federal court that the conditions were a result of an influx they did not anticipate.  

They admitted they were unprepared to handle certain challenges.

CBP showed the judge a new guidance they created after the crowds began going down.

The Valley-wide policy would address the concerns of conditions and communication raised by attorneys.

The Texas Civil Rights Project is among those who requested the injunction.

Robert Lopez, community outreach coordinator with TCRP, says, "The problem with this is that there are no statutes governing how CBP needs to be treating individuals that they've detained. They have their own internal guidance, the TEDS standards, which they are not following. So, because of this, because there are no laws saying that we need to treat these individuals we are apprehending decently, fairly, the judge couldn't enforce this."

Lopez says they will continue monitoring the situation.

They believe an influx could happen again as conditions in Central America remain stagnant.

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