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Judge sides with migrants, says certain Border Patrol detention centers 'violate Constitution'

Migrants must now be given blankets, mats
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Posted at 10:56 AM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 10:56:20-05

PHOENIX — A U.S. judge in Arizona has issued a permanent order requiring the Border Patrol to provide clean mats and thin blankets to migrants within 12 hours of arriving at a detention facility.

The judge's order also banned the centers from allowing inmates to sleep in the bathroom areas of the detention centers after video shown at trial showed a migrant unable to use the restroom because migrants were sleeping in them, Time reports.

According to USA Today, the judge ruled that the facilities are "are presumptively punitive and violate the Constitution."

The order issued on Wednesday also bars the agency from holding migrants more than 48 hours if they've been fully processed.

It applies only to eight Border Patrol stations in Arizona following a lawsuit that claims the agency holds migrants in overcrowded, unsafe and inhumane conditions.

The plaintiffs and the government issued formal arguments regarding the lawsuit in a seven-day trial earlier this month.

The lawsuit alleged facilities are extremely cold, overcrowded and unsanitary, and conditions don't allow migrants to sleep.

According to USA Today, the judge's ruling found "undisputed" evidence that criminal inmates and migrants in long-term custody are provided better treatment than those held in the short-term facilities.

The Border Patrol says its facilities were designed for adults and short-term stays.