Saturday, September 26, 2020
No menu items!

Texas desert tent city for immigrant children balloons in size

The facility in the border city of Tornillo sprang up with 400 beds when the Trump administration put into place its “zero tolerance” policy that called for separating parents from children after families crossed the border from Mexico illegally.

While officials say Tornillo no longer holds minors separated under “zero tolerance,” after the administration rolled back that policy following a public outcry and under pressure from U.S. courts, the facility has grown. It now includes children who crossed the U.S. border on their own.

Tornillo houses 1,465 children between the ages of 13 and 17, of whom nearly 900 were detained coming from Guatemala, officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services said during a camp tour.

“No children that were a part of the family separations are at the Tornillo facility,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

Federal officials would not let reporters on the tour interview children and has tightly controlled access to the tent city in Tornillo, a town of about 1,600 people some 30 miles (50 km) southeast of El Paso.

Since it opened, the camp, with air-conditioned tents, has enhanced its amenities to include access to legal services for the children, medical care, soccer, televised sports events and religious services, U.S. officials said.

The average stay of a child at Tornillo is 29 days before the child is released to a sponsor, according to Health and Human Services.

Civil rights groups have said that no matter what amenities are offered, holding children in a detention facility for prolonged periods can be a human rights violation.

Trump administration officials have said the zero tolerance policy, under which some 2,600 children were separated from their parents, was needed to secure the border and deter illegal immigration.

President Donald Trump was forced to end the policy after public furor over the separations and the chaotic way in which they were conducted, with hundreds of parents deported without their children.

According to a court filing by the government in late September, 136 children separated under the “zero tolerance” policy remain in government custody.

Latest News

Military plane crashes in Ukraine, killing 22

A military transport plane carrying air force cadets crashed and burst into flames near a highway in...

Protester hit by vehicle during LA march

A pick up truck drove through a group of protesters in Los Angeles on Thursday evening (September 24), injuring one person.

Amazon pushes security products with indoor drone and car alarm

Amazon.com on Thursday (September 25) announced a drone for recording security video inside homes and car products for alerting vehicle owners about...

Mayor Turner Honoring Five Houstonians During Hispanic Heritage Month

HOUSTON, TX - In recognition of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board are honoring five...

Stores Offering FREE Home Delivery

HOUSTON, TX - With everyone on edge with the coronavirus pandemic still at an high, now is the perfect time to...

More Articles Like This