Hazards at Migrant Detention Facilities
The Department of Homeland Security has shown flagrant disregard for the health of those in custody, including the improper use of industrial chemical disinfectants and attempting to build new facilities on highly toxic superfund sites.
Regional Office / Program
In a series of legal actions, Earthjustice has sought information — including environmental reviews of sites and analysis of the health and safety impacts on those in detention — on multiple migrant detention facilities to ensure the health of those in custody.
Freedom of Information Act requests have revealed details of multiple proposed migrant detention centers on military bases that may have been in proximity to toxic waste sites.
- Fort Bliss has several Superfund sites, which are polluted locations requiring a long-term response to clean up hazardous material contamination.
- At Goodfellow Air Force Base, the area where tents would have been constructed is directly over a former firing range and adjacent to a closed but uncapped landfill.
Exposure to toxic chemicals from these sites can cause cancer, neurological damage, developmental harm, and many other diseases. The plans for detention facilities at these sites have since been put on hold.
Case page created on June 23, 2021.