Should never have been built in the first place.
Courtesy of Reuters:
A tent city in Texas for migrant teens will close, the U.S. government said on Friday, and the children held in what had become a controversial symbol of President Donald Trump’s migration policy will be transferred to sponsors or other shelters.
The shelter in Tornillo, Texas opened in June to house migrant children, many of whom were Central Americans who crossed the border alone. Immigration advocates raised concerns about how long the minors were staying in the tents and some protesters had set up camp near the facility.
“As of this weekend, the last group of unaccompanied alien children will have been transferred or discharged” and the shelter was on a “path toward closure,” said Lynn Johnson, Assistant Secretary of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
Johnson said the majority of the children were released to sponsors, usually family members, in the United States, while some were transferred to other shelters.
BCFS, the San Antonio-based nonprofit running the temporary shelter for the U.S. government, said earlier on Friday that “there are no more children in Tornillo.”
Now you might be thinking that the facility was closed due to bad publicity or some of the abuses that were reported by journalists, but that is not the reason given by the CEO.
Courtesy of Vice News:
Kevin Dinnin, the CEO of the contractor that ran the controversial tent city for migrant children in Tornillo, Texas, says the facility is closing down because he refused the government’s request to detain more youths there.
Shrouded in secrecy since it opened in June to handle overflow of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, the facility at Tornillo became a symbol of the administration’s mass detention of undocumented children. Originally built to hold 400 migrant teens sent from its permanent facilities and slated to close within 30 days, by December it had ballooned to a large complex holding more than 2,800 children.
“The children were coming in but never leaving,” Dinnin said in an exclusive interview with VICE News. The president and CEO of the nonprofit BCFS, which ran the facility under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said he was dismayed the U.S. government kept asking him to expand the camp.
Ultimately, he came to believe that HHS would continue sending migrant teenagers to Tornillo as long as it could. So on Dec. 17, Dinnin sent HHS and ORR a letter informing them that his nonprofit wouldn’t accept more children at the facility.
“We as an organization finally drew the line,” Dinnin, who oversaw day-to-day operations at Tornillo, said. “You can’t keep taking children in and not releasing them.”
Soon after receiving the letter, HHS began taking steps toward closing Tornillo, including rapidly releasing the migrant youths. HHS denied that Dinnin’s letter led the agency to close the facility, and did not confirm whether it had received the letter.
Just let that sink in a little.
The facility was not closed for being too inhumane, it was closed for not being inhumane enough.