Shelters for undocumented children nearing capacity as families separated at border

Posted June 18, 2018

The Trump administration has for months sought solutions for accommodating the rising number of unaccompanied children and migrant families apprehended at the border in recent months.

O'Rourke also noted that the policy meant children would spend Father's Day uncertain when they would next see their parents.

While the majority of children at Casa Padre are kids who arrived at the border unaccompanied, it's estimated about 5 percent, or 70 boys, are living there because they were separated from their parents at the border. The site was similarly used in 2016 as a temporary facility to house migrant families and children in canvas tents. Staff at the Brownsville facility said that those places won't have to be licensed and won't be required to have licensed professionals on staff.

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The Trump administration is facing mounting outrage over its decision to systematically bring criminal charges against undocumented immigrants detained at the border, which forces them into federal prisons where children can not stay.

Shelters for minors are now 95 percent full and officials are even considering housing young immigrants temporarily at USA military facilities. The Trump administration has backed family separations, including in asylum cases, as part of efforts to deter illegal immigration.

- Elizabeth de la Vega (@Delavegalaw) June 14, 2018They converted a @Walmart in Brownsville, TX to hold 1500 separated children.

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Backers of the policy say it will help stem the steady flow of illegal crossings at the US southern border. Adults are everywhere. The ratio is one counselor to eight children, to keep them in line and watch for behavioral and emotional problems. "Our goal ultimately is to reunite kids with their families", Juan Sanchez, founder and chief executive of Southwest Key Programs, the nonprofit that runs Casa Padre under a federal contract, told The Washington Post.

President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed the situation on Democrats, tweeting Saturday that party members "can fix their forced family breakup at the border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!"

"Effectively, these kids are incarcerated", MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff said Wednesday in an interview on "All In With Chris Hayes". It features a quote that appears to be from his book The Art of the Deal: "Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war". Though the rooms were originally created to accommodate only four children, a fifth roommate, who spends his nights on a cot, has been added as the shelter takes in more children.

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