O'Halleran Cosponsors Bill to Ensure Human Rights Are Respected in CBP Detention Centers

July 23, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Following his visit to the San Luis Regional Detention Center near Yuma last week, Congressman Tom O’Halleran announced his cosponsorship of H.R. 3239, the Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Custody Act. The legislation establishes basic and humanitarian care standards for individuals in CBP custody.

“I visited the facility near Yuma last week to get answers from the officials on the ground about conditions detainees are facing,” O’Halleran said. “It is critical that anyone in custody at any facility along our border be treated humanely. We need to address the severe staffing shortages and lack of preparedness that these facilities are experiencing. This important legislation is true to our values and morals as Americans by ensuring that these detainees are being treated with dignity and their basic human rights are protected.”

The Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Custody Act will:

  • require every individual in CBP custody to receive a health screening by a medical professional to identify acute conditions and high-risk vulnerabilities;
  • require each facility to maintain the personnel and equipment necessary to conduct health screenings and provide emergency care, including basic medication, emergency transportation, and interpreters;
  • create standards on nutrition; water, sanitation, and hygiene; and shelter.

“The reports and stories we are hearing from inside many of these facilities are heartbreaking, and run counter to who we are as a nation,” continued O’Halleran. “What makes the United States of America great is our acceptance of immigrants seeking the American Dream, and we have long been a refuge for asylum seekers fleeing dangerous conditions in their home countries. Congress cannot sit back and let our broken immigration system erode any further; we need comprehensive, bipartisan reform.”