Another “temporary” prison for children
June 13, 2019
The Trump administration is opening a “temporary” detention facility for unaccompanied minors at Fort Sill Army Base in Oklahoma that will hold up to 1,400 children. As we reported just yesterday, such facilities do not have the same licensing requirements as other facilities where children are placed. Most facilities run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement have to meet state licensing requirements to care for children. Temporary facilities are not subject to this state oversight. Currently the only other “temporary” facility is in Homestead, Florida. There is an active campaign to get this shut down. See the Daily Dispatch from yesterday for more details.
The main issues here are the lack of licensing, the end around the Flores Agreement these facilities represent, and of course, the simple fact that we are detaining so many children while putting up barriers to their placement with family and community sponsors - thereby extending their detention. Nevertheless, the symbolism of placing children at a facility utilized as a concentration camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II was not lost on some writers. Of course, Obama used the same facility for the same purpose five years ago. So, more than anything, this speaks to the continuity of U.S. mistreatment of immigrants over generations.
Unauthorized immigration at 10-year low
To listen to this administration talk about immigration, you’d have no idea that unauthorized immigration is at a 10-year low (it was before Trump took office, so no he can’t take credit for this). Until February of this year, arrests at the border where at 15-year low. Indeed, the only immigration Trump has slowed is authorized immigration by delaying processing, increasing denials for Visas, lowering the refugee ceiling, and not even allowing that already low number into the country - and so on.
We thought you should know.