The U.S. government will open a temporary shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children in far west Texas. There is no more room in the existing facilities for children. This is the direct result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on migrants and the resulting separation of families.
A spokesman for Health and Human Services said the department selected the Tornillo port of entry as a temporary shelter location, in an area that’s mostly desert and where temperatures routinely approach 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The facility will be able to accommodate up to 360 children in “the next few days,” said the spokesman, Kenneth Wolfe.
Wolfe said the facility would have “soft-sided structures,” but didn’t immediately clarify what those structures would be. 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, a Democrat whose district includes the port of entry, said, “It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. 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.”
For more: The Victoria Advocate