Special Report: Port Isabel Detention Center
POSTED: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 5:37pm
UPDATED: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 6:10pm
"Group is running south. He took him down at gunpoint yes he did."
Constantly in the Rio Grande Valley undocumented immigrants try to get in the US illegally. Many times they try running across the border.
If they make it past Border Patrol at the Border Wall they usually stay at stash houses in cities near the border until they head further north.
This is group of more than 100 were found in Edinburg inside three stash houses.
When they are caught by Border Patrol they are transported to the Port Isabel Detention Center which is run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Thursday morning we are at the Port Isabel Detention center and see a new group arrive.
"Initially when the undocumented are caught they confiscate everything they have, as you can see in this persons bag they have some tooth paste, a tooth brush, and a wallet."
The detainees bags filled with their belongings are kept with ICE at the facility until they are transferred back to their country.
Once off the bus the undocumented immigrants are searched before entering the facility.
"Most of our arrests lately have been Central Americans, I'd say that 65 percent to 70 percent of all intake that Border Patrol arrest is from Central Americans lately."
Once they get into facility the undocumented immigrants get a medical check up.
ICE says for many of them this is the first time they are checked out by a doctor.
"We have seen people coming in here extremely dehydrated, they can hardly walk so we try to get as in depth as possible, if they need to see a medical professional immediately we will refer them whether it be in house we have doctors on staff or a local hospital if its an emergency."
In Port Isabel's Detention center they have 42 beds to treat patients. This is the largest short stay medical center in the country for ICE.
After getting checked out medically detainees will stay at the detention center until they are cleared to get transported back to their country.
We are following a group of around 45 getting ready to transported out of facility at back to their country.
"As you see behind me they are getting searched for contraband to make sure they have nothing that's illegal on them, nothing that harms themselves or harming those that are escorting them back to their country."
"once the undocumented are checked they are loaded up in these buses where they are transported to the airport."
Once on the bus there is a final check to make sure everyone is on board.
As we are on the bus we hear them telling us where they from.
"El Salvador, El Salvador."
Then the bus is on it's way to airport.
"The undocumented immigrants have arrived at the airport in Harlingen. They are going through one final search before they get on the plane and they will be heading back to El Salvador."
A total 120 undocumented immigrants are on board, 75 of them came from San Antonio..and the other 45 are from the the Port Isabel facility.
"They have their country officials awaiting there arrival as we speak, once they arrive, they will greet us on the tarmac, process them back into the country and put them back into the community."