Undocumented children that are detained in the U.S. means living a life of complete chaos and fear. At least that’s what we imagine as new reports show that these children — who crossed the U.S./Mexico border alone — are being moved around from place to place in the middle of the night.
Due to the record number of detained children — an estimated 13,000, The New York Times is reporting that immigration officials are transferring them, sometimes without any notice, in the middle of the night because they’re likely to not runaway when it’s pitch dark. According to the report, the shelters in which they’re currently housed in various parts of the country are just too crowded and need to make room for incoming undocumented children.
The report claims that the kids are being moved from a more supervised housing situation to the tent city in Texas, which has very low supervision, supposedly because these children will only be there temporary.
“To deal with the surging shelter populations, which have hovered near 90 percent of capacity since May, a mass reshuffling is underway and shows no signs of slowing,” the Times reports. “Hundreds of children are being shipped from shelters to West Texas each week, totaling more than 1,600 so far.”
Even though officials claim that kids housed in the tent city is only temporary, they can be there for months. The tragic part of this issue is that the kids did have schooling, care, and supervision in their housing shelters. But now, in the tent city, the kids are only given work books and are more isolated. The Times reports that one of the reasons that these shelters are too crowded is because the government is making it harder for the detained children to have sponsors. The whole point of sponsorship is that kids can live in a home. However, a majority of the people that were looking to be sponsors are undocumented themselves, and now ICE has been informed to detain these potential sponsors.
RAICES — an organization aiming to help undocumented children and families being detained — reposted the Times article and tweeted: “These are internment camps. These children have no legal representation.”