US Border Patrol is buying 1,000 more onesies for detained infants

Cribs at a Border Patrol detention facility for children and families in Yuma, Arizona.
Cribs at a Border Patrol detention facility for children and families in Yuma, Arizona.
Image: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is planning to buy nearly 1,000 infant-size onesies for babies detained at several Border Patrol facilities in Texas, according to three new federal solicitations reviewed by Quartz.

The previously unreported purchases come just two months after the Border Patrol ordered 1,800 onesies for two holding facilities in the El Paso area, and three months after an order by US Customs and Border Protection—Border Patrol’s parent agencyfor 20,000 baby bottles, 3,000 boxes of baby wipes, 2,224,000 diapers, and 144,000 pairs of shower shoes, of which 36,000 were size extra-small. The supplies went to a tent city in Donna, Texas, which was erected to hold families and unaccompanied children seeking asylum.

“The clothing are essential for the health and wellness of the detainees while in USBP custody,” explains a request for proposals issued to prospective vendors by DHS.

An increasing number of families with children have sought asylum in the US after fleeing deadly violence in Central America. US president Donald Trump’s so-called zero-tolerance immigration policy has also created more “unaccompanied children” by detaining their parents, many of whom have not committed any crime. This leaves countless numbers of young kids in need of care.

Border Patrol’s Big Bend Sector, which is “strategically located across the northward route of travel from the area of northern Chihuahua and Coahuila, Mexico, inland to the agricultural areas of West Texas,” will be getting 400 onesies.

The El Paso Border Patrol Sector, which includes the infamously overcrowded Clint, TX station where undocumented kids have allegedly suffered abuse and overall inhumane conditions while in Border Patrol custody, will get 200 onesies. The Del Rio Sector will get 325 onesies out of the 925 to be shared with El Paso and Big Bend. Each order specifies: Size: 12 months, 100% cotton rib, with sleeves, uncovered legs, snaps at the crotch. Color: White, machine washable.

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DHS’ orders also include thousands of toddler- and youth-size garments. Big Bend will receive, among other items, 1,000 toddler-size T-shirts, 800 pairs of toddler-size sweatpants, 1,200 youth-size T-shirts, and 2,400 pairs of girls’ cotton panties. Del Rio will get 1,000 toddler-size T-shirts, 1,700 youth-size T-shirts, 3,650 pairs of boys briefs, and 1,200 pairs of kids’ flip-flops. El Paso will get 1,000 toddler-size T-shirts, 4,800 pairs of boys’ briefs, 600 pairs of toddler-size “triple roll” socks, and 2,400 pairs of girls-size panties.

Each facility will also be getting thousands of adult-size garments, including T-shirts, sweatpants, underwear, bras, socks, and flip-flops.

Delivery is scheduled to begin this month.