Child concentration camps in America
2 October 2018
Across the United States, under cover of darkness, the government is rounding up immigrant children and sending them to a desert concentration camp in Tornillo, Texas, near the US-Mexico border. In recent weeks, hundreds have been transferred from foster shelters to Tornillo, where they live in tents, 20 to a room.
The New York Times spoke with employees at shelters who described scenes that recall the most shameful episodes in American history, including the capture of fugitive slaves, the forced removal of Native Americans from their land, and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War Two.
According to the Times, “In order to avoid escape attempts, the moves are carried out late at night because children will be less likely to try to run away. For the same reason, children are generally given little advance warning that they will be moved.”
With the children in a panic, some shelter employees reportedly cry when officials descend upon their facilities. Others protest and raise concerns about the safety of the children at the desert concentration camp, to no avail. Children beg to know whether they will be taken care of at their new location. Phone numbers for their emergency contacts are written on belts tied around the children’s waists.
Roughly 13,000 children are currently detained in shelters and immigration detention facilities nationwide, a record high. Conditions in immigration detention centers and shelters are deplorable, with children reporting cases of rape, sexual abuse and physical violence.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expanding the size of the Tornillo tent city, which currently houses 1,600 immigrant youth, to 4,000. Starting in November and extending through March, the…