Tear gas dispersed against migrants trying to cross the border illegally. Long lines to apply for asylum. Questions over whether or not the new President of Mexico has cut a deal with President Trump. All of these issues swirl around the caravan parked at our southern border near Tijuana. But nobody seems to be talking about the real problem in this standoff, which is surfacing well to the east of there in Texas. People are flooding the toilets in the immigration centers. (Government Executive)

The central US Border Patrol detainee-processing facility in McAllen, Texas has added extra porta-potties and sinks to handle what it describes as an “increase in detainees,” government purchasing data show.

Between now and Sept. 28, 2019, the Border Patrol will be renting at least 34 portable toilets and seven hand-washing stations to be used by as many as 1,500 detainees, according to a contract extension logged in a federal database. The total expenditure, which includes new costs to “add additional equipment,” is listed at $959,198.48.

Last year’s toilet-and-sink rental, for the same amount of time and in the same location, came to $730,328.28.

First of all, nearly a million dollars to rent less than three dozen portajohns sounds like a somewhat crappy deal, if you’ll pardon the pun. Who’s negotiating all of this? Further down in the linked report we find that our government has already spent $6 million renting shower and laundry trailers, and more than $100K on hospital-style wristbands used to identify the illegal aliens detained there.

This is all taking place at the Border Patrol’s Central Processing Center (CPC) known as Ursula, near McAllen, Texas. It’s the first destination of illegal aliens who are apprehended coming across the Texas border and the place where they are held while their cases are initially being heard. It was only designed to hold a maximum of 1,000 people, but during periods of peak activity, they’ve been forced to accommodate as many as 1,500 at a time.

The toilet situation really isn’t a joke, since sanitary facilities are needed to prevent the spread of disease in these crowded conditions. But all jokes aside, there are a lot of resources being flushed into this CPC facility, and that’s during a period when we don’t have a caravan hitting the Texas border. All of those capacity limits and the corresponding expenses incurred will skyrocket even further if Mexico allows (and Democrats encourage) more massive caravans to wash up against our border.

Just one more thing to keep in mind as this debate continues.