After more than 2,300 families were separated on the U.S.-Mexico border under the malicious “zero-tolerance” policy instituted by President Donald Trump, heartbreaking stories of the ordeal immigrant families had to endure came forward.
Migrant kids who were finally reunited with their families after months of separation, showed signs of disturbing and lasting trauma, from failing to recognize their parents to pretending to be immigration officers.
Employees at multiple detention centers were accused of sexually abusing migrant children. The minors, who were reportedly given empty hopes of being adopted by American families, were forced to sweep floors of the shelters they were living in and were fed raw meat by guards.
Amid such disturbing reports, President Donald Trump rescinded the contentious policy after which the federal court ordered the administration to reunite all the families.
However, the recent reports suggested over 400 migrant children still remain separated after all these months, despite court orders.
Now, the Trump administration reportedly wants even more space to detain migrant children who attempted to cross the border in search of a better life.
Just recently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed it plans to open and expand a temporary tent facility for immigrant children it is operating in Tornillo, Texas, so that up to 3,800 of the children can be held there.
According to the Dallas News, as of yet, there are 12,800 beds for unaccompanied minors at more than 100 government-operated shelters which implies the proposed expansion to the “tent city” will increase the overall number of beds by 20%.
HHS spokesman Kenneth Wolfe said family separations were "not driving" the expansion, which is being done to accommodate the high number of unaccompanied children. Wolfe said the expansion was prompted by new arrivals into the shelter program operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the department.
"HHS is legally required to provide care and shelter for all unaccompanied alien children referred by DHS, and works in close coordination with DHS on the security and safety of the children and community," Wolfe said in a statement.
However, it remained unclear why is there still such a high number of unaccompanied children under the agency’s care.
Subsequently, Texas Rep. Cesar Blanco (D) lashed out at the administration over the request for additional beds.
“This administration has resorted to putting kids in tents rather than pushing for comprehensive immigration reform while Congress sits complicit with inaction. It’s immoral and un American,”said Blanco.
Considering the fact, in the past the administration had lost track several migrant children’s parents, one cannot help but suspect if the increase in number of unaccompanied children is yet another grave consequence of the chaos the Trump administration created because of its draconian family separation policy.
Banner Image Credits: REUTERS/Mike Blake