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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

US government seeks to put immigrant children in tents

Por DamianToo

The Donald Trump government seeks to build camps with tents in military posts throughout the state of Texas to house the growing number of immigrant children who have arrived alone in the US and are in detention. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will visit Fort Bliss, a large Army base near El Paso in the coming weeks to examine a site where the administration is considering building a tent camp to house between 1,000 and 5,000 children, according to data from US officials and other sources familiar with the plans.

HHS agents confirmed that they are considering Fort Bliss, in addition to Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene and Goodfellow Air Base in San Angelo, to use those sites as possible temporary shelters.

The intensive plan occurs at the same time that shelters for minors are being filled with more children who have been separated from their parents. The number of immigrant children detained without their parents who are in the custody of the US government increased by more than 20 percent, as Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions initiated the new zero-tolerance government policy that separates children from parents who now face legal proceedings.

More than 10,000 immigrant children are detained in HHS shelters, which are already 95 percent full.

The Trump government has blamed Congress for allowing technicalities that require federal authorities to free illegal immigrants awaiting hearings that many do not show up for. Deputy Prosecutor Rod Rosenstein at a round table last month with Trump attacked those loopholes that also prevent the administration from quickly sporting children who have arrived alone.

"It can take months and sometimes years to adjudicate those claims once they enter the federal immigration court system, and they often do not show up for immigration proceedings," Rosenstein said. "In fact, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied children every year do not show up when they are called in. They are released and do not reappear."

Tens of thousands of families and children who have arrived alone have been detained since 2014, when a wave of Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan mothers and children left for the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, fleeing violence and poverty.

In general, unaccompanied children are handed over to the family or held in an HHS shelter, such as a detention center or tent camp. Now those who arrive with their parents are also being separated from them and sent to HHS shelters or sponsoring families.

Leon Fresco, Assistant Deputy Attorney General of President Barack Obama, who defended the administration's use of family detention, said that the Trump government will probably also have to look to Congress for more money if it wants to maintain this intensive approach to detention. . He said that it is much more expensive to separate parents and children and keep them in two different facilities than to keep them together through a monitoring system.