Lesson Plan

Conditions in Detention Centers at the U.S. Border

Related Content

Overcrowding of families observed by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on June 10, 2019 at Border Patrol’s McAllen, TX, Station.

GRADE LEVEL: High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language

Overcrowded, Unsanitary and Dangerous Detention Facilities

Over the past year, the humanitarian crisis at the border has worsened for migrants and those seeking asylum. The problems now go well beyond the forced family separations and detentions that were highlighted in the summer of 2018. Migrant children are being held in overcrowded, unsanitary and dangerous detention facilities in violation of an agreement which requires that children be moved quickly.

Response to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

Over the past several weeks, the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Inspector General, Congressional representatives, lawyers, physicians, journalists and others have visited facilities in Texas and Florida and report overcrowded, squalid and unsafe conditions in these detention facilities. As a result, legislation has been introduced to ensure protections for migrants and the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees announced that they will hold hearings about the conditions at detention centers.

About this Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the conditions in the detention facilities, reflect on the impact this has on migrants and those seeking asylum and explore possible actions to address the humanitarian crisis.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will understand the current conditions at detention facilities on the U.S. southern border.
  • Students will reflect on the experiences and conditions of those who are migrants and seeking asylum.
  • Students will identify action items they and others can take to address the current humanitarian crisis on the border.