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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Trump Administration Could Be Holding 30,000 Illegal immigrant Kids By August, Officials Say - New Footage Shows illegal Immigrants Marching Into A Texas Detention Center

Rows and rows of detainees are seated shoulder-to-shoulder inside a cage in Texas 
Rows and rows of detainees are seated shoulder-to-shoulder inside a cage in Texas 
The Trump administration could be holding 30,000 illegal immigrant children by the end of August as a result of its push to enforce federal immigration laws, which has led to the separation of children from their parents and guardians as those adults are prosecuted.
A senior administration official who asked not to be identified said the Department of Health and Human Services has been taking in about 250 children per day in recent weeks. HHS is the agency that is taking in children when they are separated from their families.
An HHS official added that the agency expects to be taking about 250 kids each day at least for the next two months. If that estimate holds, HHS could be caring for 18,500 more children by the end of August.



The HHS official said as of Friday, HHS was already holding 11,500 children, which means the total could hit 30,000 by August.
The practice of separating children from illegal immigrant adults has become highly controversial in the last few weeks, and is something Democrats have highlighted as a practice that needs to stop.
Plastic warming sheets are scattered throughout this small cage where illegal immigrants are being processed at a crowded detention center in McAllen, Texas. This image is from footage of the center that was released by the US Customs and Border agency on Monday 

Plastic warming sheets are scattered throughout this small cage where illegal immigrants are being processed at a crowded detention center in McAllen, Texas. This image is from footage of the center that was released by the US Customs and Border agency on Monday 
The Trump administration has defended the policy by saying illegal immigrants need to know that if they try entering the U.S., they will be prosecuted, which could lead to separation from their children. Officials have said U.S. citizens face the same risk when they commit crimes.
But administration officials have also said they support a change to the federal law that requires prosecution and family separation and has blamed Democrats for current law.
Illegal immigration along the southwestern U.S. border has spiked in the last few months, even though administration officials have said they expect Trump's zero-tolerance policy to eventually dissuade more from coming. A Justice Department spokesman told the Washington Examiner last week the zero-tolerance policy is not expected to lead to a decline in the number of illegal immigrants attempting to make the trek to the U.S. from primarily Central American countries until early fall.
The first photos since zero tolerance was announced inside the largest Border Patrol processing station in U.S. in McAllen, Texas were released Monday morning, ahead of video footage that was released Monday afternoon 

The first photos since zero tolerance was announced inside the largest Border Patrol processing station in U.S. in McAllen, Texas were released Monday morning, ahead of video footage that was released Monday afternoon 
Under current practice, HHS takes care of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children as well as now those under the age of 18 who must be cared for while the adults they were apprehended with are prosecuted for illegal entry. This spring, Sessions directed federal prosecutors stationed at the border to bring charges against all migrants that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers took into custody.
However, family units that arrive at ports of entry and request asylum will not be prosecuted because they have not attempted to enter the country illegally, several DHS officials confirmed to the Washington Examiner. They will also be kept together as they go through the asylum process. These groups are detained in DHS facilities while minors are directed to HHS.
In an attempt to secure housing for the coming flood of children, HHS selected the Tornillo Land Port of Entry near El Paso, Texas, last week as the first back-up site to temporarily house around 360 minors.
The Trump administration is also advancing a plan to tentatively house unaccompanied minors in tent cities located on three Texas military bases due to increasing border apprehensions and a shortage of beds for the underage immigrants.
"[Health and Human Services] is running out of space because of the implications of the zero tolerance policy, but also because we continue to see this uptick in numbers," an official confirmed to the Washington Examiner last week.
HHS officials are looking at Fort Bliss near El Paso, Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, and Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, the official confirmed.

The footage, which was released by the federal agency after journalists were disallowed from taking their own photos and videos during a press visit Sunday, shows the sparse 22 cells where detainees are sitting, and laying down, shoulder to shoulder.
Reporters were also not allowed to speak to the detainees, or ask them any questions.  
Approximately 130 children who have been separated from their families are processed through the detention center in the border town.
More than 250 unaccompanied children were processed through the facility on Sunday alone, according to the LA Times
The dark facility is divided into separate wings for unaccompanied children, adults on their own, and mothers and fathers with children. 
The cages in each wing open out into common areas to use portable restrooms. The overhead lighting in the warehouse stays on around the clock.
The Border Patrol said close to 200 people inside the facility were minors unaccompanied by a parent. 
Another 500 were 'family units,' parents and children. Many adults who crossed the border without legal permission could be charged with illegal entry and placed in jail, away from their children.
At this rate, President Donald Trump's administration could have 30,000 illegal immigrant children in its care by August as prominent voices on both sides of the aisle push the president to halt the family separations.  

Trump's push to decrease the number of illegal border crossings has resulted in the Department of Health and Human Services taking in at least 250 children per day, a senior administration official told the Washington Examiner

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