The First Look Into a Trump Administration Shelter for Migrant Boys Is Deeply Disturbing


The Trump administration has made its stance on Latino immigrants clear from the day that Trump introduced his candidacy in 2015, declaring Mexican immigrants specifically as “bringing medicine” and “crime” and sending “rapists” over the border. As an indicator of his marketing campaign, Trump vowed to construct a wall alongside the Mexican border (alas, no luck but). In April, President Trump and Legal professional Normal Jeff Classes made good on this bleak view of brown folks, enacting a “zero tolerance” coverage on undocumented immigrants crossing the border into the U.S.—the overwhelming majority of whom come from Central America—vowing to prosecute as many individuals as legally potential, together with these looking for asylum from violence or persecution of their house nations. The fallout of this nationalist crackdown? About 1,400 kids being separated from their dad and mom and households on the border since October alone.

Final night time, MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff acquired a primary glimpse at how a few of these kids—deemed “unaccompanied minors”—live at a government-contracted facility in Brownsville, Texas, and what he and different journalists noticed is deeply disturbing. After being invited in by the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers, the federal company tasked with dealing with undocumented kids, Soboroff reported that about 1,500 migrant boys age 10 to 17 are “successfully incarcerated” on the Casa Padre shelter, a former Walmart that has been pushed to capability by the brand new “zero tolerance” coverage, with boys sleeping 5 to a room and spending 22 hours a day indoors. Soboroff reported on the Right now present on Thursday that a few of the boys are being handled for psychological well being points.

“I’ve been inside a federal jail and county jails. This place is named a shelter, however these youngsters are incarcerated,” Soboroff tweeted. “No cells and no cages, and so they get to go to courses about American historical past and watch Moana, however they’re in custody.” Particularly, Soboroff shared images of boys known as to a cafeteria to eat in shifts, showing to indicate wristbands scanned by officers when taking their meals.

In one other photograph shared by Soboroff and later launched by HHS, there’s a mural of President Trump’s face on the wall that bears the phrase: “Typically by shedding a battle you discover a new option to win the struggle.”

The personal nonprofit Southwest Key, licensed by the federal government to function Casa Padre, instructed The Washington Publish: “We’re attempting to do the most effective that we will caring for these kids. Our objective finally is to reunite youngsters with their households . . . We’re not a detention heart . . . What we function are shelters that care for youngsters. It’s a giant, huge distinction.”

Soboroff credit Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon for paving the best way for reporters to realize entry to Casa Padre: Merkley tried to go to Casa Padre two weeks in the past and was turned away by native police. After going inside a processing heart in McAllen, Texas, Merkley instructed *The Nation:* “The dad and mom are beside themselves not figuring out what occurred to their youngsters, and so they by no means know in the event that they’ll see them once more. The youngsters are going by the second model of trauma . . . they get to the border, and so they suppose, Lastly, we’re protected. However as an alternative they’re put into this prison-like facility and separated and put by this new drama.“

This darkish first look into the U.S.’s largest detention facility for migrant kids begs many pressing questions: If that is what the HHS is permitting reporters and the general public to see, what is going on on the undisclosed areas we don’t have entry to? As Soboroff famous on Right now: What in regards to the kids beneath age 10? What in regards to the infants and the ladies? On Tuesday, a Honduran girl stated federal officers took her child daughter from her whereas she was breastfeeding at a detention heart in McAllen. When she refused to let her go willingly, she was handcuffed. These horrors are sadly unsurprising, given the Trump administration’s open hostility towards Latino immigrants. However the questions swirling across the U.S.’s remedy of migrant households now demand solutions.

“Infants and toddlers are being taken from their dad and mom and put . . . the place? Who’s caring for them and the way?” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tweeted final night time. “We have to see inside these services. Now.”

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