Controversial Border Patrol chief headed to Detroit amid blistering report


Deplorable conditions at an El Paso detention center. - HOMELAND SECURITY'S INSPECTOR GENERAL
  • Homeland Security's Inspector General
  • Deplorable conditions at an El Paso detention center.

A controversial Border Patrol chief who oversaw deplorable and unsafe conditions at detention centers near the U.S.-Mexico border is headed to Detroit.

Aaron Hull, head of the Border Patrol's El Paso sector, will be reassigned Monday following a blistering report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General that revealed conditions so deplorable that agents were beginning to arm themselves because they feared a riot.

Customs and Border Protection declined to say why Hull was reassigned to Detroit.

The IG report documented overcrowded cells, a lack of showers or clean clothes, outbreaks of lice, flu, chickenpox and scabies, and more than half of the immigrants being held outside. Babies had no clean clothing or soft mats on which to sleep.

“With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” the report said.

The report also cited declining morale among agents who were worried about riots or hunger strikes. Some agents were even considering retiring early or moving to another agency.

“The current situation where [immigrants] are simply giving themselves up to the border patrol [and border patrol must detain] is causing low morale and high anxiety. They are seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems among their agents,” the report said.

Despite the documented evidence, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan insisted that news reports about poor conditions for children at the facility were “unsubstantiated.”

Hull, known as an immigration hardliner, also defended Border Patrol agents, saying he was “impressed” with their handling of an influx of migrants. 

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