Trump and Republicans Want to Detain Families Indefinitely
June 21, 2018
The more we learn about the family separation crisis Trump created through his own policy-making, the more disturbing it becomes. Make no mistake, Trump’s latest executive order does not fix the humanitarian crisis at the border that he manufactured. Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy remains, which means that children could still be separated from their parents if they are prosecuted or deported. There is no clear plan to reunite children with their families, and Trump and Republicans want to detain children and families indefinitely in conditions like those described in the stories below.
CNN: A look inside the places where infant and child migrants are held
“One is a former hospital. Another is a retrofitted superstore. One is a tent city with the capacity to grow.
“These are the places where most infants and children are held after they cross the US-Mexico border without prior authorization.
“Children are sent to different facilities across the country depending on their age, gender, history of behavioral issues or criminal activity, or medical needs. These centers are overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, who said the average stay is 56 days.
“Some are newly built ‘tender age’ facilities to accommodate the influx of children under 13 who have been separated from their parents under the Trump administration's zero tolerance immigration enforcement policy. One of those facilities is a former private home about 20 miles from the US-Mexico border in Texas town of Combes, operated by Southwest Key Programs.”
BuzzFeed: “You’re Not Even Wanted In Mexico”: Teens Describe Life Inside A US Detention Center
“Germán, also 16, said that guards told what looked to be 3- or 4-year-old children that would not stop sobbing to ‘stop crying, güey,’ Spanish slang that translates to ‘dude.’ Some of the youngest children refused to eat the sandwiches they were given, he added. They weren’t given any alternatives though — instead they went to bed hungry, he said. There was roll call four times a day and if someone was lying down and not answering, a guard would give him a small kick in the ribs to wake him up, Germán said, prompting a new wave of cracking sounds from the rustling of emergency blankets.
“Germán says he was in the warehouse for eight days, though he lost track of the time of day while he was locked up: he constantly asked the men watching over them for the time but they never responded.
“‘You’re not even wanted in Mexico,’ Germán recalled a US agent telling him after they learned that Mexican immigration authorities would not pick him up from the bridge on the day he was supposed to be deported.”
Washington Post: Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the U.S. is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children
“Yellow lines on the ground mark the area boys must line up. In the cafeteria, a mural tells kids to speak quietly, ask before getting up and not share food. Next to their beds are lists of each boy’s belongings: two T-shirts, three pairs of socks, three pairs of underwear, one polo, a pair of jeans. Lights go out at 9 p.m. and come back on at 6 a.m.
“There are so many children that they attend school in two shifts: one in the morning, the other in the afternoon. They sit in small, numbered classrooms with yellow walls covered in posters of planets. On Wednesday, through tiny windows, they waved to the reporters outside.”
NBC News: Surge in children separated at border floods facility for undocumented immigrants
“Life inside the biggest licensed child care facility in the nation for children brought into the U.S. illegally looks more like incarceration than temporary shelter.
“The children, a mix of those who crossed into the U.S. unaccompanied and those who were separated from their parents under Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new zero-tolerance policy, spend 22 hours per day during the week (21 hours on weekends) locked inside a converted former Walmart, packing five into rooms built for four.”