Moving Children Does Not Fix Horrific Border Patrol Facility Conditions
Recently, lawyers visited a Texas Border Patrol Facility and described the conditions as nothing more than horrific. Children were described as filthy, never having been given the opportunity to keep up with their hygiene. Caregivers for toddlers were absent. After the visit, immigration officials removed over 200 children from the Clint, Texas facility and transferred them to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters and temporary tent facilities. Not long after that, the government moved 100 children back to the Texas Border Patrol Facility.
The government is tricking people into believing that they are finding a solution by moving children in and out of border patrol facilities, but it is only a form of damage control. Shuffling children from one facility to another does not fix the problem. The government claims that they are being overwhelmed with the amount of immigrant families crossing the border. The reason that Border Patrol Facilities are unfit for children, they say, is because they were originally designed to hold single adult males only.
Children are Not Safe in Border Patrol Facilities
Children are not safe in border facilities. Last year children reported being physically abused by guards. They also reported that they were being fed frozen food and that they had to drink toilet water to stay hydrated. At a facility in McAllen, Texas, it was reported that children were being packed into cages and forced to sleep on the concrete floor. A witness stated that toddlers were sick and neglected due to a flu outbreak in the facility. There were no doctors and public health officials monitoring these children or the spread of disease among them. Experts have called for pediatricians and child welfare experts to be on site.
Immigrant Children are Being Detained for Long Periods
Ideally, children who are unaccompanied by a parent can be held for 72-hours only. However, some children are being held for more than two weeks. Immigration lawyers recommend children not be detained by Border Patrol at all and instead should be sent to an ORR shelter immediately to start the process of being matched with a sponsor. Reasons why children are being detained for so long range from case management issues to the government changing the vetting process for releasing minors to sponsors. Another reason why children are being detained for longer than they should be is because there is no room at ORR shelters for them.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of Tahir Mella, P.C. Represent Families Dealing with Immigration Issues
If you are dealing with an immigration concern, a Philadelphia immigration lawyer at the Law Offices of Tahir Mella, P.C. will fight for you and your family’s rights. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-496-0690. Located in Philadelphia, we represent clients in the tri-state area, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide.