Tents set up by U.S. Customs and Border Protection are now open and operating to process incoming migrants in Donna, the agency announced Tuesday afternoon.
The Monitor first reported the agreement approved by the city and federal government on Jan. 19. No details were offered at the time, but on Tuesday, a news release disclosed the new area measures 160,000 square feet and sits on 45 acres in Donna. The mid-Valley location was chosen due to its proximity to other U.S. Border Patrol stations across the Valley.
“The facility’s primary purpose is to safely process individuals in U.S. Border Patrol custody,” the agency stated in the news release. “The facility is weatherproof, climate-controlled, and is expected to provide ample areas for eating, sleeping, and personal hygiene.”
Currently, the Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, the largest processing center in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sector, remains closed for a year-long renovation project.
“Since April 2020, CBP has seen a steady increase in border encounters from the Western Hemisphere due to worsening economic conditions brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic and natural disasters impacting the area,” the news release added