Sen. Jeff Merkely (Dem) Oregon, visited a border detention center in McAllen, Texas. Families, mothers with babies, and children separated from their parents were kept in cages; toddlers as young as 4 or 5 and older children were held without their parents in cages that looked like dog kennels. Three hundred of the five hundred chlldren in the detention centers have been held for more than 72 hours, half of them are under the age of 12.
There are now so many children in custody that they can’t be kenneled in the detention center, so they are being warehoused in an abandoned Walmart in Brownsville Texas. Sen. Jeff Merkeley also visited the Walmart in Brownsville, Texas but was not allowed to enter. That warehouse is now so full of thousands of children separated from their parents that they are now considering moving more children onto military bases around Texas.
NBC reports; “The agency’s Administration for Children and Families has 11,200 unaccompanied children in its care and takes 45 days on average to place a child with a sponsor, according to a spokesperson.”