The investigation found that 3,400 of the migrants had been held longer than the 72-hour limit, and a senior manager at one facility called the situation a "ticking time bomb".
A new government report describes in detail the prolonged detention, overcrowding and security risks at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in the Rio Grande Valley, including facilities housing children and families.
The news of more hardship for migrants crossing unlawfully into the U.S. in desperation, particularly amid the crackdown on entry and on seeking asylum by the Trump administration, came on the day the government's own watchdog decried squalid and overcrowded conditions in border patrol stations for detained adults and children.
"This is a frightful insult to the memories of the innocent men, women and children slaughtered by the Nazis, and to our Border Patrol agents - implying that our agents are no different from the Nazi butchers". More than 50 children under age 7 were waiting to be moved to long-term facilities, some of them for more than two weeks.
- Many adults hadn't showered despite having been held for as long as a month. Some adults were only receiving bologna sandwiches, causing constipation and in some cases requiring medical attention.
According to Border Patrol figures, 2,23,263 people were detained in the Rio Grande Valley sector between October 2018 and May 2019, up 124 percent from the same period a year earlier.
In recent weeks, conditions at these facilities have been at the foreground of USA politics.
"No human being deserves to be treated like this", Senator Kamala Harris wrote on Twitter.
The demonstrations were fueled by fears the Trump administration is preparing a roundup of immigrants who are in the country illegally. Mayor Pete Butigieg tweeted that he was "outraged by these photos", and Senator Corey Booker wrote that "this report is nothing short of horrific".
"The current migration flow and the resulting humanitarian crisis are rapidly overwhelming the ability of the Federal Government to respond", states a July 1 letter included in the watchdog report by the Inspector General's office at the Department of Homeland Security. "This isn't just a few rogue agents or 'bad apples.'" In addition to sexual content, posts are violent in nature, with posters encouraging other members to harm visiting congresspeople.
As public outrage grows over the conditions in which thousands of people - some no more than a few months old - are being held by the US government, the report offered new cause for alarm.
"Detainees have never been told to drink toilet water", Judd said.
CBP deputy commissioner Robert Perez, appearing on CNN, said the detention centers were "never created to deal with the volume of migrants coming our way" and the Border Patrol is doing its best to deal with "absolutely oversaturated conditions".
An investigation has been launched after a secret Facebook group for US Border Patrol agents to joke about the death of migrants and make racist and sexist comments about Latino Congress members was unearthed. Jerrold Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both Democrats from NY, were wrong when they claimed migrants are held in degrading conditions, according to a regional Border Patrol chief.
The revelation about the Facebook posts only added to the vitriolic atmosphere surrounding immigration and the treatment of tens of thousands of migrants who have crossed the border, vastly straining the system that has been struggling to keep up amid Trump's hardline rhetoric.