Offbeat MSNBC reporter: Detained immigrant children 'effectively incarcerated' in Texas facility

07:41  14 june  2018
07:41  14 june  2018 Source:   thehill.com

Military bases eyed as site for tent cities to house migrant children, report says

  Military bases eyed as site for tent cities to house migrant children, report says In the coming weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services will visit Fort Bliss Army base near El Paso as a potential tent city for between 1,000 and 5,000 children, McClatchy reports, citing U.S. officials and other sources familiar with the plans. HHS officials confirmed they are looking at Fort Bliss, along with Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo as sites for temporary shelters, the news service said.

In the latest fight over whether detaining migrant children is illegal, a Texas judge has blocked the state from issuing a child -care license to an immigration detention center. The facilities have been at the center of a legal fight in Texas courts this week.

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center, a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border, on Sept. 10, 2014, in Karnes City, Texas .

a group of people standing in front of a crowd © Provided by The Hill An MSNBC reporter said migrant children are effectively being "incarcerated" in a Texas facility where more than 1,400 migrant children are being held.

Jacob Soboroff was one of a number of reporters who toured the Brownsville facility on Wednesday. Soboroff said the center, which is a former Wal-Mart, reminded him of a prison.

"This place is called a 'shelter' but effectively these kids are incarcerated," Soboroff said.

Soboroff said on "All In With Chris Hayes" that the facility houses roughly 1,400 boys between ages 10 and 17. He compared the setup to a "dormitory structure," noting that the building has a cafeteria area and rooms with four beds each.

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In late January, a memo to top Homeland Security officials called for raising the number of immigrants ICE incarcerates daily to 80,000 people. Last year, ICE detained more than 352,000 people. The number of detainees held each day, typically between 31,000 and 34,000

Images of an immigrant child detention center show the conditions in which nearly 1,500 undocumented migrant boys are being sheltered in Brownsville, Texas . Advertisement. "This place is called a shelter, but effectively these kids are incarcerated , Soboroff said on MSNBC , pointing to

The reporter posted a photo of a mural painted near an entrance that depicts President Trump in front of an American flag and the White House.

Licensed professionals with the Office of Refugee Resettlement run the facility. Soboroff explained that kids are free to move around and are allotted two hours of outdoor time each day.

"It's organized chaos in there. It's hectic but it is organized," he said.

Reporters were allowed inside the facility less than two weeks after Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) shared a video showing him being barred from entering the same building.

U.S. govt says nearly 2,000 child separations at Mexico border in under two months

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Nearly 500 mothers incarcerated with their children at euphemistically-termed immigrant family detention centers in Texas were released over the weekend following a judge’s ruling that such prisons cannot operate as childcare facilities .

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center, in Karnes City, Texas , a temporary Immigrant advocates and detainees have complained bitterly that these family detention facilities are nothing more than prisons with dormitories and soccer fields.

Democrats and immigration advocates have expressed concern about the treatment of migrant children in the wake of the Trump administration's recently implemented "zero tolerance" for those who illegally cross the border.

The policy has faced intense scrutiny from critics who call it cruel and blame it for overwhelming courts and U.S. attorneys' offices.

"This practice is antithetical not only to American values but to basic decency and humanity," Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions last Friday.

Sessions announced last month that the Justice Department would aggressively prosecute adults attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally - a process that often leads to children being separated from their parents upon being apprehended.

Authorities have separated families who cross illegally, in some cases, placing children in separate holding facilities. The practice occurs before a parent is convicted and is carried out regardless of whether a migrant is seeking asylum.

Trump has blamed Democrats for enacting poor immigration laws amid outcry over the policy.

Other Trump administration officials, including Sessions and Chief of Staff John Kelly, have defended the policy as a deterrent against illegal immigration.

Dems seek info about Virginia facility after abuse claims .
Virginia's two Democratic senators are seeking answers from federal authorities about oversight of a juvenile detention facility where immigrant children say they were bound, beaten and isolated in solitary confinement. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine sent to the head of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement questions about the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center. The Associated Press reported Thursday that six Latino teens had made sworn statements detailing severe abuse they said they endured between 2015 and 2018, under both the Obama and Trump administrations. In court filings, lawyers for the detention facility have denied all allegations of physical abuse.

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