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This photo shows a view of the new temporary holding facility opened by Customs and Border Protection in El Paso, Texas, on May 2, 2019. - The facility is meant to address the record number of families and children apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border, and has shower, laundry and medical facilities for them. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

A government watchdog group told the Department of Homeland Security to immediately resolve "dangerous" overcrowding at Border Patrol facilities in El Paso, Texas, according to a new report.

Why it matters: The Office of the Inspector General said crowded, standing-room-only conditions, specifically at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center, posed serious health and security risks to both the migrants and officers. Some were held for weeks at a time. The watchdog group gave a target completion date of Nov. 30, 2020 to to follow recommendations and alleviate overcrowding.

By the numbers:

  • A cell with a maximum capacity of 12 held 76 detainees.
  • A cell with a maximum capacity of 8 held 41 detainees.
  • A cell with a maximum capacity of 35 held 155 detainees.
  • Per Border Patrol staff, the total number of detainees on site was approximately 900 as of May 8. The facility’s maximum capacity is 125 detainees.
  • According to Border Patrol’s logs, there were 756 detainees on site as of May 7. 502 detainees (66%) had been held at PDT for more than 72 hours, with 33 detainees (4&) held there for more than 2 weeks.

What they're saying: Inspector General John V. Kelly notes that while Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the structure to properly transfer some of these detainees, they are also strained at present. The limited space makes it difficult to separate sick detainees as well — possibly leading to the spread of illness, disease and infection such as chicken pox, scabies and influenza.

Go deeper: What we know about Kushner's big immigration plan

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - Health

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.

California father and son accused of "reckless arson" in Calder Fire

Firefighters at the Caldor Fire along Highway 89 west of Lake Tahoe, California, in September. Photo: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California officials said they arrested a father and son Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Caldor Fire, which threatened the Lake Tahoe area as it burned for over two months earlier this year. They deny any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: The wildfire was the 15th-biggest ever recorded in California, razing more than 1,000 structures, forcing thousands to evacuate and injuring five people as it burned across nearly 222,000 acres of land in El Dorado, Amador and Alpine counties.

FDA approves AstraZeneca COVID drug for people with immune problems

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for an AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug for people with compromised immune systems.

Why it matters: The drug, Evusheld, is the first antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. to prevent coronavirus symptoms before virus exposure.