The U.S. government is opening a temporary shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children in far west Texas, as existing facilities for children reach capacity under the Trump administration.
The administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on migrants is resulting in an unprecedented number of children being separated from their families.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Thursday that the department selected the Tornillo port of entry as a temporary shelter location.
The port is located about 40 miles southeast of El Paso, in an area that’s mostly desert and where temperatures reached triple digits on Thursday, just a week before the official start of summer.
The tents will be large, with walls that touch the ground. They are expected to hold 450 beds for children, sources with HHS tell the NBC News.
According to reports the detention centers for migrant children are all around 95 per cent full
The tent city will be in the desert 40-miles south west of El Paso, near the Tornillo port of entry (pictured)
This former Walmart in Brownsville, Texas is close to it’s 1,500 capacity. The US government is now expanding detention centers for migrant children, with tents to be be placed in the desert 40 miles south of El Paso. The tents are expected to hold an additional 350 children
Donald Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on illegal immigration has become an overcrowding crisis as migrant parents are being separated from their children, and the federal government is running out of places to hold their children
The facility will be able to accommodate up to 360 children in ‘the next few days,’ said the spokesman, Kenneth Wolfe.
Asked if children will be kept in tents, Wolfe said the facility would have ‘soft-sided structures,’ but didn’t immediately clarify what those structures would be.
The numbers of children in existing facilities have surged as the Trump administration institutes a policy of trying to prosecute all people who cross the southern U.S. border without legal permission.
Hundreds of families have been separated, with parents detained and their children placed in government shelters.
On Wednesday, government officials gave a tightly controlled tour of a shelter in Brownsville, Texas, on the other end of the state.
Located inside a former Walmart, the shelter is housing nearly 1,500 children. Many other facilities in the U.S. government network are at or close to capacity.
State Rep. Mary Gonzalez, whose district includes the port of entry, said government officials had contacted her about two weeks ago to offer a tour of the port of entry, but included few other details.
‘It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere,’ she said. ‘It’s in the desert. There is nowhere to go outside, really.’
She added, ‘I don’t understand where they’re going to put these kids.’