June 28, 2019 – Last Thursday, the Associated Press described appalling conditions at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, just outside of El Paso. There, more than 300 migrant children were detained without adequate food, water, sanitation, and adult supervision. In response to the outcry from the general public and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, the U.S. government started moving these young children and teens to better facilities. Or so it seemed. New information from The Texas Tribune reports that 100 of the children had been returned to that same facility.
Some of the children held in that facility had been living under terrible conditions for weeks, although federal law mandates that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) must transfer immigrant children to federally-funded shelters through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) counters, that the children are detained too long in inadequate CBP shelters due to the “unprecedented number of arriving children.”
Will Clint, Texas, be ground zero for needed change in our country’s treatment of immigrant children? Will there be better oversight to ensure adequate care for children detainees going forward? Gene Grant and the Line opinion panel debate these at other pressing issues surrounding the immigration crisis at the border.
The panel also looks at a recent report on the Torrance County Detention Facility by Ike Swetlitz of Searchlight New Mexico. The facility closed two years ago when the private company that ran it, CoreCivic, said its daily head counts weren’t high enough to turn a profit. Now, Swetlitz explains, the company has reopened the jail, and potentially nine out of 10 inmates could be immigrants held on a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Michael Barrio, director of advocacy, Prosperity Works
Dede Feldman, former NM State Senator
Dan Foley, former state representative
Laura Sanchez-Rivét, Affirm, Inc.
For Further Reading:
People want to donate diapers and toys to children at Border Patrol facilities in Texas. They’re being turned away. – by Alex Samuels, The Texas Tribune
As Trump delays raids, immigrant fears heightened in Santa Fe – by Ari Burack, Santa Fe New Mexican
Impact In N.M. As Trump Threatens Mass Arrests – by Marisa Demarco, KUNM
Locking down revenue: Small towns profit from incarcerating migrants – Searchlight New Mexico