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People Are Asking The US Government About Where The Migrant Girls Are Being Held And If They Are Safe

@jacobsoboroff / Twitter

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding where undocumented children are housed after they are separated from their families by immigration officials. Journalists and politicians have been prevented from entering many of the facilities holding children. The only images we have seen have show the boys. People are still asking to see the girls.

Some journalists have been invited to enter some detention centers, including one that was once a Walmart.

CREDIT: Twitter/@jacobsoboroff

The center, located in Brownsville, Texas, was converted from a Walmart and now houses boys between 10 and 17 years old.

The center holds an estimated 1,500 boys.

CREDIT: Twitter/@jacobsoboroff

Journalist Jacob Soboroff live-tweeted what the facility was like and reported that the boys are held at the center for approximately 52 days. After that period, the youths are then placed with a sponsor family.

As soon as the kids enter the facility they see a mural of President Donald Trump.

CREDIT: Twitter/@jacobsoboroff

Soboroff tweeted that there were “Presidential murals everywhere” with the quote, “sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”

“I have been inside a federal prison and county jails,” Soboroff said on Twitter. “This place is called a shelter but these kids are incarcerated. No cells and no cages, and they get to go to classes about American history and watch Moana, but they’re in custody.”

The kids are only allowed outside for two hours a day.

CREDIT: @jacobsoboroff / Twitter

The boys spend 22 hours a day inside the detention center on weekdays and 21 hours on weekends.

“This is not a school cafeteria,” Soboroff tweeted. “Hundreds called to eat at a time on rotating shifts.”

CREDIT: Twitter/@jacobsoboroff

Soboroff called on his experience in prisons as a reporter to liken the detention facility to a prison, despite claims to the contrary.

Here’s more of what the centers look like inside.

As of now, we have no idea what the detention centers are like for babies or female youths.

READ: A California Woman Told Grey Hound Bus Passengers Their Legal Right Not To Show Border Patrol Documentation

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What You Need To Know About The Policy That Is Separating Undocumented Children At US Border

things that matter

What You Need To Know About The Policy That Is Separating Undocumented Children At US Border

TIME / YouTube

Over the last six weeks, 2,000 children have been separated from their parents at the U.S. border due to a new policy enacted by the Trump administration. The policy effects families legally arriving at the border seeking asylum. These children are taken into custody and placed in “detention facilities”, which often lack adequate bedding and are overcrowded. The Trump administration already has 10,773 immigrants under the age of 18 in custody due to its “zero tolerance” policy.

How is this all happening and why are children being separated?

Immigration officials can do this because of a “zero-tolerance” policy publicly announced in May. The policy allows the separation of families by transferring parents into criminal custody and reclassifying the children as “unaccompanied” minors. Parents are then taken to federal criminal prisons while the children are taken to separate housing centers. According to Vox, it’s more expensive to keep parents in detention while children are under the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) care than to keep them together in one detention facility.

The Trump administration is falsely claiming that this is them following a law created by Democrats. There is no such law.

The maximum time a separated child is supposed to be held at these detention centers is 72 hours, but that hasn’t been the case.

DHHS says most detention centers are at 95 percent capacity because of insufficient space for the children. Also adding to the overcrowding is the process to place a child with a sponsor that takes an average of 45 days. This has led to the need for these “tent cities” where separated children are then placed with relatives or sponsors.

There are currently over 10,773 immigrant children being housed in centers across the United States.

Kenneth Wolfe, a DHHS spokesman, told the LA Times that the government currently has contracts with 100 shelters in 17 states with 27 of those shelters in Arizona, California and Texas. Southwest Key, an Austin-based nonprofit, is among the nation’s largest child migrant shelter providers, currently housing 5,129 immigrant children in those three states. According to The Washington Post, these facilities are currently close or full to capacity.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said that he opposes the separation of undocumented immigrant families at U.S. borders.

Ryan on Thursday said he was not comfortable with family separations occurring at the border but didn’t put blame on President Trump. Instead blaming the 1997 Flores settlement, which bars the government from detaining children for long periods, including with their parents. Republicans will present an immigration bill next week that will limit family separation at the border is expected to be part of that legislation, likely in the form of changes to address the Flores rule. Which might mean no longer removing children from their parents but detaining them together until their court hearing.

Rallies took place in support of keeping families together across the US on Thursday.

Events, including rallies and vigils, were planned in more than 60 cities and towns in the U.S., according to the organizer, Families Belong Together. Protesters in states including California, Texas, Michigan and New York, drew attention to the Trump administration’s policy with hopes of immediate reform to stop the separation of immigrant families.

READ: A California Woman Told Greyhound Bus Passengers Their Legal Right Not To Show Border Patrol Documentation

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