The GAO Asks the CBP to Increase Health Protocols

The GAO labels as "Alarming" the health protocols followed by the CBP

The GAO talks about the conditions of the CBP centers

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently oversaw the conditions offered to immigrants in detention facilities belonging to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The research findings are alarming, and the GAO has publicly asked the CBP to implement new hygiene and health protocols before more immigrants (including minors) pass away unnecessarily and unfairly.

The official report is called: “CBP Needs to Increase Oversight of Funds, Medical Care, and Reporting of Deaths”.

The main reason why the GAO decided to carry out this study is because in a period of less than 5 months (2018-2019), two minors passed away inside the CBP facilities.

Following this incident, the CBP received emergency funds to be able to offer a decent health service to detained immigrants along the southern border of the US.

GAO’s role regarding this investigation was to oversee:

  1. The way in which CBP distributed the emergency funds.
  2. The steps that CBP took to increase health protocols within its facilities.
  3. CBP’s oversight of the medical care provided to detained immigrants.
  4. Whether official information and figures from the CBP were reliable (regarding the health condition of detainees and the details of deaths within its facilities).

The research results

GAO’s view is that the results of the study are even more concerning nowadays as the world is going through a massive outbreak of Coronavirus. The threat of the pandemic increases the risk in CBP detention centers.

In addition to that, the study findings demonstrate that the CBP did not follow the guidelines for investment of funds nor did it implement all the necessary health protocols to protect the lives of detained immigrants.

Let’s look at some of the main findings:

  1. The CBP did invest a large portion of the emergency funds into health supplies and hygiene products such as protective masks and gloves.
    However, a considerable portion of the funds was invested in purposes that have nothing to do with those established. For instance, the CBP invested in printers, border transportation tools, motorcycles, canine programs, inter alia.
    Therefore, the CBP violated the Appropriations Law by allocating these funds to areas other than health care.
  2. After the CBP received the emergency funds, regulations were not specified, and some detention centers did not know that this financial support was intended exclusively for health supplies, protocols, and care.
  3. There was no follow-up by senior CBP leaders after each detention center received its emergency funds.

Following these findings, the GAO states that “Until CBP develops and implements additional guidance, and establishes oversight roles and responsibilities, the agency does not have assurance that the remainder of funds appropriated for consumables and medical care will be obligated consistent with the purpose of the funds”.

Avoid illegal immigration

It is imperative that immigrants who want to go to the US follow the legal processes to obtain entry and residence in the country.

It is evident that we are going through a health crisis and the best solution is to take the appropriate decisions so that your immigration application receives a positive response.

If you have any questions about an immigration issue or relating to a case you may have currently in progress, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE Phone Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys.

Simply call Motion Law today at: (202) 918-1799.