We have seen the Trump administration manufacture a crisis of unaccompanied migrant children through unlawful family separation at the border, and for those children who did come unaccompanied, the increase in funding for ICE and the increased targeting of immigrant families is preventing family members of detained children from being able to take them in.
We have seen the Tornillo facility grow in size five-fold, now with the capacity to hold thousands, as children are taken in the middle of the night from licensed facilities and foster homes with operational and child welfare guidelines including education and adequate access to legal assistance, and moved to the tent city in Tornillo, with very little oversight, and little to no access to education and legal assistance. We now have a situation where what was once intended to be a shelter for a few hundred unaccompanied children to be operational for 30 days, is now a child prison, with little oversight and indefinite sentences.
Tornillo continues to expand. The contract which was set to end in December has once again been extended. As you read this, more tents are being constructed, more children are being brought in. The children in Tornillo are being intentionally separated from their families by the government creating more hoops for sponsors to jump through. Meanwhile, these children are being detained for weeks, months. Many crossed the border unaccompanied to come to live with a relative, and some crossed with an aunt or uncle as their care giver and were forcibly separated from them and sent to detention.
Here is what we know:
Recently, we have seen the Trump administration say that there may be more tent cities. Tornillo is not the exception, it is the blueprint for what is to come.
That is why we must SHUT IT DOWN!