Lawmakers Tour Detention Centers At Southern Border


Homeland Security buses enter the Federal Correctional facility in Victorville, Calif., on Friday, June 8, 2018. More than 1,600 people arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border, including parents who have been separated from their children, are being transferred to federal prisons, U.S. immigration authorities confirmed Thursday. They said they’re running out of room at their own […]

Controversy over the separation of families at the southern border continues and on Monday, U.S. Senators and Representatives headed to the border to get a first-hand look at some of the centers where kids are kept.

KELOLAND’s Washington Correspondent Alexandra Limon is reporting from the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. 

The sign outside reads ‘Welcome to Casa Padre,’ but after Sen.Jeff Merkley was turned away, the warehouse that now houses undocumented immigrant children has become the center of a hot debate.

On Father’s Day, U.S. Sen. Merkley from Oregon and other lawmakers returned for an official tour.

“They went from 500 kids here in April to almost 1,500 here now,” Sen. Merkley said. “There’s no place to put them. They’re talking about putting a tent city for children near El Paso.

As lawmakers visited various detention centers, people gathered to protest the separation of families.

In the past, many immigrants were simply deported with their kids. Some call that policy “catch and release.”

The Trump Administration’s new Zero Tolerance policy means all adults are charged and their kids are separated from them when the parents head to court.

The administration said it is necessary to discourage people from trafficking drugs and committing heinous crimes.

“There has to be a consequence for entering the country illegally,” Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Chief, Manuel Padilla, Jr said.

However, some lawmakers say the practice of separating from their families causes irreparable harm and trauma.

“My fear is that there may be loss of life, and the loss of life is children that can’t be found,” U.S. Representative for Texas’ District 18, Sheila Jackson Lee said.

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