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Water shortage leads to restrictions at Sierra Blanca immigration detention facility

Tom Barry/The Texas Tribune
Immigration detention facility in Hudspeth Co. just outside of Sierra Blanca, about 100 miles east of El Paso.

SIERRA BLANCA, Texas -- A regional water shortage blamed on the depletion of area tanks has resulted in water restrictions being imposed at the West Texas Detention Facility that houses immigration detainees, officials told ABC-7 on Sunday.

The Sierra Blanca facility, operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is now shutting down its water supply at 11 p.m. daily to allow its on-site water tanks to replenish overnight.

An ICE spokesperson maintained "WTDF medical and kitchen operations have not been affected."

The spokesperson said showers for detainees were being limited to 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, porta-potties were placed into the facility for use by detainees and staff, and bottled water has been brought in.

Officials said WTDF warden Mike Sheppard was working to try and resolve the water-shortage, and the water line from Van Horn that serves the Sierra Blanca facility was being searched for possible leaks in the system. 

El Paso / News / Texas / Top Stories

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


1 Comment

  1. From an old Salt, I don’t want to hear any complaints from the snowflakes as to how we are abusing these people. Years ago I remember many days being without fresh water for bathing while on deployments on aircraft carriers. Ship’s evaporators had to make all our fresh water. If the water reserves were low, ship’s boilers, catapults, and the galley (chow hall) had priority. “Water hours” were the norm. Scuttlebutts (drinking fountains) were available during this time. I recall many salt water showers. I’m betting many of these folks never took a fresh water shower in their life. A “bird bath” is probably their usual method of getting clean. They can bathe in the Rio Grande if it’s that bad.

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