US Border Patrol is buying thousands of onesies for detained infants

The United States Border Patrol (USBP) will buy as many as 1,800 infant onesies between now and the end of next February for babies up to 12 months old. The clothing will be delivered twice a month to a holding facility in the El Paso area, according to a $448,000 contract the agency signed earlier this week.

The items “are essential for the health and comfort of the detainees while in USBP custody,” explains an accompanying statement of work.

The Border Patrol will begin receiving the onesies on June 17. It will also be getting thousands of toddler-size T-shirts, sweatpants, and socks, as well as 7,200 pairs of girls’ panties and nearly 10,000 pairs of boys’ white briefs, in sizes ranging from “Youth-Small” to “Youth-XL.”

Adult-size T-shirts, sweats, briefs, panties, and polyester sports bras have also been ordered to the same USBP detention facility, a “soft-sided” tent-like structure, with identical delivery dates.

The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged Quartz’s request for comment; this article will be updated if and when a statement is received.

The purchases by the Border Patrol follow a recent order by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for 20,000 baby bottles, 3,000 boxes of baby wipes, 2,224,000 baby diapers, and 144,000 pairs of shower shoes, of which 36,000 will be size extra-small, for a newly-erected tent city holding families and unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the US.

That facility, located in Donna, Texas provides “temporary housing, meals, showers, clean clothing, and medical area for the family units and UACs,” the agency said in a contracting document, which described allowing “35 square feet per detainee of open space plus 12 square feet to account for sleeping mat space.”

In recent years, there has been an uptick in the number of families with children seeking asylum in the US, as they flee violence in Central America. Policies instituted by US president Donald Trump have also created more “unaccompanied children” by detaining their parents, many of whom have not committed any crime, leaving them in need of care.

In February, 76,000 people were apprehended at the southern border, including 36,000 who were traveling with family members—the highest number in 12 years.

Read the full text of the USBP purchase order here:





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