The government’s own internal watchdog warned as far back as May that conditions at an El Paso, Texas, border station were so bad that border agents were arming themselves against possible riots, countering Friday’s assertion by a top Trump administration official that reports of poor conditions for migrants were “unsubstantiated."
In an internal report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General and obtained by NBC News, inspectors noted during a May 7 tour of a border station in the El Paso sector that only four showers were available for 756 immigrants, over half of the immigrants were being held outside, and immigrants inside were being kept in cells maxed at over five times their capacity.
Border agents remained armed in holding areas because they were worried about the potential for unrest, the report said.
A cell meant for a maximum of 35 held 155 adult males with only one toilet and sink. The cell was so crowded the men could not lie down to sleep. Temperatures in the cells reached over 80 degrees, the report said.